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How Safe Is Lasik Eye Surgery In The Elderly Years ?

May 26, 2008
It's a pretty well-established fact that most people experience a decline in the quality of their vision when they hit their forties. And, with a very large population of baby boomers now in their forties and above, the demand for corrective eye surgery to help improve these common vision problems has been on the rise. But many senior citizens question if it is worth it to have Lasik eye surgery in their later years.

The answer, according to experienced ophthalmologists and laser eye surgeons, is that people are eligible for laser eye surgery at just about any stage of life. Those experiencing problems with their eyesight can enjoy improvement with correction laser vision surgery. The main vision problems that can be improved with corrective eye surgery are astigmatism, far-sightedness and near-sightedness.

Lasik eye surgery in virtually any stage of life is considered a very low risk procedure, overall. But, there are a few precautions that doctors recommend to those who are a bit older. One common condition that the elderly deal with is eye dryness and therefore, after Lasik eye surgery, the elderly are strongly encouraged to take extra care to be sure to keep the eyes well-hydrated and lubricated with eye drops.

Lubrication of the eyes after Lasik eye surgery is not only important for those who are having the procedure done in their later years. Keeping the eyes moist and keeping them from drying out is an important part of aftercare for everyone who has undergone corrective eye surgery, but it is even more crucial for the elderly and for anyone who tends to naturally have dry eyes.

Using eyedrops routinely after the corrective procedure is a very simple, yet very effective way to avoid problems and complications. The laser eye surgery clinic will provide the patient with the proper lubricating eye drops for post-surgery use.

One of the reasons why eye surgery in the later years is still safe and effective is because overall the procedure has proven to have very few complications and has very low risk. This is because the surface of the eye is not cut with traditional surgical instruments, which can cause damage to the cornea.

Instead, the small cut that needs to be made is accomplished with a laser beam. This means the incision will be tiny, accurate and extremely clean. All of these factors result in much less risk of infection and other complications.

However, even with a very good track record of success, eye surgery in general is not completely foolproof. Corrective eye surgery patients experience complications from the procedure or disappointing results approximately 5% of the time. When the procedure does not go well, the patient might end up having fluctuating vision, seeing halos around light sources, having increased sensitivity to glaring light, and possibly experiencing more dryness of the eyes.

Even though most laser eye surgeons are in agreement that Lasik eye surgery in the later stages of life is still a viable and effective option, they also mention that Lasik vision surgery is not the right procedure for everyone. There are conditions, such as glaucoma and presbyopia, which will not be corrected through laser eye surgery. In fact, with glaucoma, such a procedure can even worsen the condition.
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