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When should people not have laser eye surgery?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Thanks to laser eye surgery, people who suffer from vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism have a possibility of correcting their vision. Laser surgery works by reshaping the cornea to change how light enters the eye and focuses on the retina.

It is true that laser eye surgery is safe for most patients. However, for various reasons, some people should not undergo the procedure.

The presence of certain health problems

Several health conditions may interfere with healing or vision after laser eye surgery. These include autoimmune disorders, diabetes, severe dry eyes and uncontrolled glaucoma.

Connective tissue disorders like rheumatoid arthritis cause inflammation that can disturb the cornea and healing. Brittle diabetes makes surgery riskier due to fluctuating glucose levels. In addition, glaucoma patients require stable eye pressure before undergoing any eye procedures.

Prescriptions and pregnant women

Patients who take prescription medicine need a stable prescription for at least one year before laser eye surgery. Otherwise, their eyes may continue to change shape after surgery and alter their vision again.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women often experience temporary vision changes as well. Surgeons normally advise them to wait until after giving birth and completing breastfeeding before undergoing laser surgery.

Age considerations

Laser eye surgeons typically do not operate on patients under 18 years old. The eye continues developing during the teenage years. Performing surgery too early risks later vision problems as the eyes grow and change. Adults over 40 may also experience more side effects like dry eyes. Their eyes tend to heal more slowly after surgery.

Just under 800,000 eyes receive laser treatment per year, with minimal side effects and widespread patient satisfaction. Still, doctors should properly consult with patients before laser surgery to ensure the patient can undergo the procedure without suffering physical complications.