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Should you have laser surgery?

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Updated June 12, 2009

Question: Should you have laser surgery?
I've heard that having laser surgery can correct vision problems. How do I know if laser surgery is right for me?
Answer: For some people, laser eye surgery can be used to correct vision so that glasses or contact lenses are no longer needed. During laser eye surgery, the cornea is reshapen, changing its focusing power. One of the most common types of laser eye surgery performed today is LASIK. Many patients who have LASIK eye surgery end up with 20/20 vision.

However, not everyone is a good candidate for laser surgery. There are several requirements that must be met in order to be considered for laser surgery. Check the list below to see if you might qualify for vision corrective laser surgery.

  • You should be at least 18 years old.
  • You should not be pregnant or nursing.
  • You should not be taking certain prescription drugs.
  • Your vision must be stable for at least one year.
  • You should be in good general health.
  • You should have had no infection or injury within the past year.
  • You must not be affected by an autoimmune disorder, such as Sjogren’s Syndrome or Lupus.
  • You must not have scarring on the cornea.
  • You should not have dry eye syndrome.
  • Your pupils should not dilate beyond seven millimeters in the dark.
  • You should understand the risks and limitations involved.
Laser surgery can be very successful and beneficial. Like all medical procedures, however, it has both risks and benefits. Only your eye doctor can tell if you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery.
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