A fact of aging gracefully for most people lists as the eyes weaken over time. For some the cornea clouds and eye sight dim, but otherwise the eye remains healthy. Others have serious eye diseases that must become managed carefully. Since we are living longer healthier lives quality of life maintenance becomes an important issue. Maintaining good eye sight prevents accidental falls and keeps the elderly active. Cataract surgery is covered by Medicare but there exists a better solution with astounding results for some patients and that surgery is called LASIK.
LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ Keratomileusis. A type of refractive surgery it corrects common vision problems such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. It lessens the need for glasses or contact lenses while in some cases restoring vision to 20/20. The surgery has been recommended by the FDA. The military recommends it to soldiers to maintain near perfect vision. Unfortunately, unless for job reasons insurance classifies the surgery as an elective which means it is an out of pocket expense except in a few cases. It is not covered by Medicare despite studies by the FDA calling it an astoundingly successful operation. Studies show patients report nearly 98% satisfaction with the improvement in their vision and doctors report over an 95% success rate with patients.
Laser eye surgery in elderly
The FDA recommends LASIK for patients 18 years and older. Medical groups put a range of age between 18 to 50 years of age. Candidates do exist that are in their 50s or even 65 years and older. The determining factor becomes the expertise of the doctor and the patient’s eye health. Some doctors after extensive examination have done laser eye surgery on patient’s in their early 70’s. LASIK surgery exists as a possibility for the elderly particularly healthy elderly.
Things to consider
An elderly person has to actively seek LASIK surgery since insurance does not cover it. An older patient must understand aged eyes may still need reading glasses for book or computer work, but not for activities. It does have to be a case by case basis. Here is a short list of considerations:
Pre-existing disease – the membranes of the eye must become carefully looked at to determine if it is up to taking a surgical procedure. A careful family history must be taken to rule out corneal disorders, glaucoma, and diabetes.
Drugs – older patients often have prescription medicines they must take. Medicines do affect the cornea of the eye. Medicines do produce ocular visions such as ghosts, and halos.
Accommodation Issues – surgery on elderly takes much more evaluation calls on the doctor’s part when administrating surgery than other aged patients. Some under correction is recommended so to keep quality of life particularly with near vision.
Cataracts -depending on the stage of the cataract it may be better to have regular cataract surgery first before attempting an accommodative IOL procedure in a LASIK clinic. LASIK does not stop cataract formation and elderly patients must understand this.
No concrete guidelines exist for LASIK in the older patient. The doctor patient relationship takes precedent. Choose a great clinic like Houston Lasik & Eye in Houston. Their award winning clinic serves the military who has the highest standards for eyes possible. Talk to the staff and see if LASIK surgery is a possibility.
Houston Lasik & Eye leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston Lasik & Eye, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478.