Women are busier than ever, making decisions all day, every day, for themselves and their families. The decision as to whether or not to get LASIK eye surgery is a major one that requires proper planning and timing.
The key to picking the right time to get LASIK is when your prescription is stable. Having the surgery done during times of refractive instability can cause an over- or under-correction that would require your prescription to be adjusted again.
At what age should I get LASIK?
While the FDA has approved LASIK surgery for those over 18 , if you are a young woman in your early twenties, it is best to wait a few years as your refractive power is likely to still be changing. You’re never too old to get LASIK, however, age-related conditions such as cataracts can affect efficacy and eligibility.
It is important to realize as well that LASIK cannot correct presbyopia, the age-related loss of close-up focusing power. By age 40 to 50, many people who have had LASIK will need reading glasses.
LASIK and Pregnancy
One of the major causes of refractive instability is fluctuating hormones. This is one of the reasons why LASIK is not recommended if you are pregnant or nursing.
Other reasons to avoid having LASIK surgery at this time include changes in corneal pressure due to fluid retention and pregnancy-related eye dryness. However, if you’re a young woman and are concerned as to whether a future pregnancy disqualifies you as a candidate for LASIK, don’t be concerned. Your vision may change some while you are pregnant or nursing, but should return to normal once your hormones stabilize.
LASIK and Menopause
For women, those hormones can unfortunately get in the way of a successful LASIK surgery outcome later in life. Menopause and hormone replacement therapy can cause dry eye in women, which if severe enough can either leave you disappointed in the results or disqualify you as a candidate completely. If this is your situation, a good option would be Proclear contact lenses, which are designed to address dry eye discomfort.
Whether or not to get LASIK surgery as a women has a few added complications. However, talk with your eye doctor about your specific situation. The time to get LASIK may be now.
To learn more about LASIK surgery, read the AAO’s pamphlet, “Is LASIK for me? A Patient’s Guide to Refractive Surgery.”