Health & Wellness

How Old Is Too Old for LASIK Eye Surgery?

You might think you’ve missed your chance, but that’s not necessarily true


By Katrina Caruso


More and more people over 50 are opting for LASIK vision-correction surgery, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

LASIK, or laser eye surgery, can significantly improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, allowing the patient to (in most cases) put aside his or her glasses. You have to be over the age of 18, because our vision doesn’t stabilize until that point, and most patients are between 20 and 40, but being older doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance.

LASIK won’t work for everyone, and it can’t guarantee 20/20 vision. And there are age-related factors that could rule out the procedure. As we age, we’re at greater risk for eye problems such as dry eye. At 60, the risk for cataracts and glaucoma is higher.

The following would make you ineligible:

– Dry eye, cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration

– Vision instability (your prescription changes frequently; you need to have a stable prescription for at least a year before the procedure)

– Diabetes

– Autoimmune disorders

– A history of eye injuries or untreated infections

But if your eyes are healthy, you’re most likely still a candidate for LASIK, no matter your age. If you’re interested in getting LASIK, make an appointment with an eye doctor to see if you qualify.

Image: iStock/kaptnali.