Can Teenage Patients Undergo LASIK Surgery?

Hudson Valley LASIK and Teens


Apr 6, 2015 @ 09:00 AM — by Richard Gordon
Tagged with: Lasik | Eye Care |

A teenage patient resting her arms on a stack of booksDuring the past two decades, the popularity of LASIK surgery has skyrocketed. Patients who wish to minimize or completely eliminate their need for eyeglasses and contact lenses can undergo LASIK surgery. In most patients, patients experience clear vision the very next day. With the safety profile and effectiveness of LASIK, it is no surprise that teenaged patients want to know if they are good candidates for the procedure. At Palisades Laser Eye Center, Dr. Richard Gordon explains to Hudson Valley patients why LASIK is not the ideal treatment for teens.

Why Teens Are Not Good LASIK Candidates

While it is certainly possible for teens to undergo LASIK, most surgeons do not recommend the procedure to patients in this age group. Most people’s eyes do not fully develop until adulthood. For some patients, the eye may be fully developed by the age of 18. However, in the majority of cases, the eyes do not fully develop until the patient is in his or her early 20s. For this reason, we recommend that LASIK patients wait until they are in their early 20s to undergo surgery.

When Can Patients Undergo LASIK?

So, how do you know when the eyes are fully developed? Typically, we do not perform LASIK surgery until patients have had a stable eyeglasses prescription for at least two years. A stable prescription is an excellent indicator that the eyes have fully matured.

What Happens if Patients Undergo LASIK Too Soon?

If patients undergo LASIK surgery before their degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism has stabilized, they may require additional correction in the future. During LASIK surgery, Dr. Gordon will measure the refractive errors of your eyes. He will use this information to reshape your cornea, making it steeper, flatter, or more rounded in shape, so that light properly reflects off of the retina. If, after surgery, your eye shape changes (because the eye is still maturing), your vision may worsen in response to these changes. To further correct your vision and the shape of your cornea, you would have to undergo a LASIK enhancement procedure.

At Palisades Laser Eye Center, we make every effort to ensure that you receive the greatest degree of vision correction during your initial LASIK procedure. To avoid the possible need for an additional laser vision correction treatment, we recommend that patients wait to undergo LASIK surgery until the eyes have fully matured and the vision prescription has stabilized.

While teenage patients wait to undergo LASIK surgery, we recommend that they wear contact lenses or stylish eyeglasses to correct their vision. These patients should also undergo eye exams at regular intervals to see if their vision prescription has changed. Once patients are at least 18 years of age and they have had a stable prescription for at least two years, they can return to our office to undergo a LASIK screening. During this screening, we will check pupil size, corneal thickness, and other factors to determine if you are a good candidate for treatment.

To schedule a LASIK consultation, contact Palisades Laser Eye Center today. We look forward to meeting you.