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When can you get laser eye surgery?

Are you considering laser eye surgery but wondering whether you would be a suitable candidate? If you are struggling with the ongoing cost of glasses and/or contact lenses, or simply find them to be an inconvenience, opting for laser eye surgery could be a great alternative. When determining whether it would be a suitable treatment for you, one question that tends to arise is at what age can I get laser eye surgery?

While the short answer is that you need to be at least 18 years of age in order to receive treatment, there are various other important factors that come into play when determining a suitable age. It is of crucial importance that you have a stable prescription when undergoing laser eye surgery, which means that understanding how your eye prescription has changed over time is essential.  For those patients unsuitable at the present time due to prescription instability, regular assessments over set periods of time can take place at Optical Express, allowing our experienced clinicians to evaluate when enough stability has been achieved.

Your eyes continue to change while your body grows and develops during adolescence, meaning your prescription and quality of vision fluctuates alongside this. From the age of 18, our bodies, and therefore our vision, start to balance out, leading to greater stability resulting in a higher chance of being suitable for laser eye surgery.   Many patients under the age of 18 years will use the vision correction services offered by Optical Express to enable our experts to monitor prescription development in their younger years, with a view to potential surgery in the future.

If you are in your late teens or early twenties and are unsure of your suitability for treatment, we recommend coming in for a consultation with one of our in-house clinical experts.  This consultation worth £100 is currently provided free of charge.  Our experts will be able to perform an assessment and advise on the best course of action for your vision correction.

When considering the best age to get laser eye surgery, it’s also important to note that, while there is no upper age limit for the collective full range of vision correction solutions, your suitability can change as you get older. Factors like the health of your eye surface and the clarity of your natural lens could interfere with your suitability for laser eye surgery.  As a result, as patients get older they are often better suited for lens replacement surgery as opposed to laser eye surgery.   This is a straight forward alternative vision correction procedure to laser eye surgery that can in many cases target improvement in vision at a range of different distances.

So, when considering what the best age is to get laser eye surgery, it can be argued that the prime time would be between the ages of 18-40, provided that all other medical criteria were met. The final decision regarding your suitability for treatment is always made by your treating Ophthalmic Surgeon.  On the assumption of being a suitable candidate, one advantage of having surgery sooner is the long term visual freedom that it brings. Further in the case of the contact lens wearer, having laser eye surgery reduces the risk of eye infections on the outer window of the eye known as the cornea, as evidenced in peer-review publications.1,2

If you are considering laser eye surgery and are unsure whether you are a suitable candidate, book a free consultation to find out more information. Our in-house clinical experts can review your requirements in more detail and help determine whether laser eye surgery is right for you.

As around 85% of adults are suitable for a vision correction surgery procedure, there is a good chance that you will be too.3 Take the next step to seeing the world clearly with visual freedom and book your free consultation today.

  1. Infective Keratitis after Laser Vision Correction: Incidence and Risk Factors; Schallhorn et al; J Cataract Refract Surg 2017; 43: 473-479.
  2. Contact Lens Related Microbial Keratitis; Stapleton et al; Eye 2012; 26: 185-193.
  3. *Based on 57,346 consultations attended at Optical Express between 1st January 2017 and 31st December 2017, 85.2% of patients were found to be suitable for a refractive procedure.
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