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What's the Best Age to Get LASIK?

By Neha Kashyap
Medically Reviewed by Blake Williamson, MD, and member of the Refractive Surgery Council editorial advisory board on December 17, 2020
People of all ages can have impaired eyesight, but what’s the best age to get LASIK eye surgery?
If you’re tired of wearing glasses or contact lenses, you might be considering LASIK vision correction surgery. But what is the best age to get this corrective procedure?
 
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than 90 percent of people who undergo LASIK are able to see without glasses or contacts. There are some qualifications you must meet in order to be a good candidate for LASIK which includes having good health and having a stable eye prescription for at least a year.
 
According to Sharon Richens, MD, FACS, an ophthalmologist at Richens Eye Center in Nevada and Utah, it’s also important to be free of any eye diseases before undergoing LASIK. Another qualification you’ll have to meet is being an appropriate age for the procedure.

Age Qualifications for LASIK

How young is too young for LASIK? According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), LASIK is only for patients aged 18 and older. There are currently no lasers approved for anyone younger than 18.

“Eighteen is the age at which for the majority of people, their eyes are ocularly mature, meaning they’re no longer developing,” Lance Kugler, MD, founder and Physician CEO of Kugler Vision in Omaha, Nebraska, tells WebMD Connect to Care. “There are some people whose eyes are still developing at that age, and that’s part of the evaluation because we really want your eye to be done developing before LASIK.”

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, ideally, a LASIK patient should be older than 21, since that’s when they’re most likely to be done with major eye changes. 

Is there an age limit for LASIK? The Flaum Eye Institute advises that while there’s no age limit for LASIK, older patients should double-check if their vision problems are a result of eye diseases, like cataracts, which are common in adults over 60.

“There is no upper limit, however after age 45, you will need to account for someone needing reading glasses as well. This can be done with monovision,” according to Yuna Rapoport, MD, an ophthalmologist at Manhattan Eye, New York.

Monovision treatment is when an ophthalmologist corrects one eye for farsightedness and another for nearsightedness, according to Flaum Eye Institute. No matter your age, it’s important to do your research and get a thorough eye examination before LASIK or other vision correction procedures.

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Reviewed with the help of the Refractive Surgery Council.