Am I a Candidate for LASIK?

Determining your candidacy for having the LASIK surgery procedure is really quite simple. In essence, the overwhelming majority of people who meet the age and general health standards are in fact perfectly suited to have LASIK surgery done to correct their refractive error(s) . There are conditions that exclude certain patients from LASIK candidacy, however, if you suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, there is still a good possibility you can have the LASIK procedure. Our ophthalmologists will assess your candidacy for LASIK surgery through a complete and thorough examination and consultation.

  • You must be over 21 years old
  • You must be in good health
  • You must have a stable vision prescription for at least one year
  • You do not have an existing eye disease

Refractive Errors

A refractive error refers to the inability of your eye to bend light correctly, resulting in a blurry or distorted image. Light has to be “refracted” or bent by the cornea and the lens to the retina in order for us to see as we should. The common refractive errors are: myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (blurry vision at all distances). Refractive errors are commonly treated with refractive surgery, corrective lenses or contact lenses.

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How Can LASIK Help?

A prevalent myth regarding LASIK surgery is that it is not a viable alternative to contact lenses and glasses for people who possess refractive error. This could not be any further from the truth. In other words, people who have conditions of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are often found to be great candidates for refractive procedures as a means to clarify their vision. In nearsightedness (myopia), the light rays of the eye are bent too much. LASIK surgery flattens the cornea of the eye, allowing the light rays to focus onto the retina. Farsightedness (hyperopia), occurs when the light rays of your eye are not bent enough. In treating farsightedness with LASIK surgery, the cornea is “steepened” allowing for the light rays to pass through to the retina. Astigmatism occurs when the light rays are not bent simultaneously, providing for cloudy vision. LASIK surgery alleviates astigmatism by making the cornea more round-like in shape and allowing the light rays to pass in a uniform fashion.

Preoperative Testing

glasses3At Eye Doctors of Washington, Drs. Clinch and Kang offer complimentary consultations to determine your candidacy for LASIK or alternative vision correction procedures. These consultations can be performed in one of our many offices. The consultations generally last about one hour. Your eyes will not be dilated and you do not need to discontinue wearing your contact lenses before this appointment.

Once our doctors determine that you are a good candidate for LASIK or an alternative eye surgery, you will schedule a preoperative exam in our Chevy Chase, Maryland, Washington, DC, or Tysons Corner, VA offices. During this exam, your eyes will be dilated and our technicians will perform an array of diagnostic tests to gather all the data they need to develop the best possible surgical treatment plan.

Please Note: If you are a contact lens wearer, you must refrain from wearing contact lenses before this exam:

  • Soft lenses – 1 week before your exam
  • Toric lenses – 2 weeks before your exam
  • Hard or gas permeable lenses – 3 weeks for every decade of wear

Eye Doctors of Washington uses the most advanced topographic and tomographic testing modalities to analyze the cornea. This helps our doctors perform the most accurate vision correction for each individual patient.

Once you have completed your preoperative exam, you can have LASIK eye surgery as early as the next week! We ask that you arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled procedure, and you should anticipate being in our office for an hour and a half.

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