Generally most patients with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism are candidates for laser vision correction. The FDA has set guidelines on the upper limits of what can be treated. For the current treatment range, visit the FDA website. Note that some patients may fall within the FDA guidelines yet may not be candidates based on other parameters measured on their qualifiying exam. In general patients must have a stable glasses prescription for 1 year, cannot be pregnant and must have adequate corneal thickness in order to be safely treated. Patients must be 21 or older to have custom wavefront treatment and over 18 to have traditional treatment.
Patients with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, eye diseases such as glaucoma and patients taking certain medications (Amiodarone, Immitrex and Acutane) may not be candidates. Also two specific eye conditions are important to mention.
Patients who have trouble wearing contacts lenses because of dry eyes may have more difficulty with dryness after any type of eye surgery, particularly laser vision correction. Although most patients with dry eye syndrome still do well with LVC, this condition needs to be fully evaluated and discussed prior to surgery. Make sure you inform your doctor if you have any symptoms of dry eyes.
Keratoconus is a rare corneal condition. Patients with advanced keratoconus can develop significant vision loss due to a slow thinning and progressive bowing of the cornea. More often patients have a milder form that results only in varying amounts of astigmatism or may be without any overt symptoms. Generally keratoconus can be diagnosed at the time of your exam. Patients with keratoconus should not undergo routine laser vision correction.
You will have a thorough eye exam prior to your surgery. Your eyes will be measured and assessed by various diagnostic devices. Based on the presence or absence of any eye diseases and the results of the testing performed, your doctor will determine if you are a candidate for laser vision correction.