Who Should Not Have Laser Eye Surgery

Curious about who should not have laser eye surgery? Discover who should avoid it! Learn about candidates and risks in this insightful guide. Laser eye surgery has become a popular choice for individuals seeking freedom from glasses or contact lenses. However, it is essential to note that not everyone is an ideal candidate for this procedure. Before considering laser surgery, it is necessary to understand the factors and conditions that may make someone unsuitable for the treatment. In this article, we will explore the reasons why specific individuals should avoid laser eye surgery and consider alternative options for vision correction.


Laser eye surgery, also known as refractive surgery, is a procedure that uses lasers to reshape the cornea and correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. While the procedure has a high success rate and offers numerous benefits, it is not suitable for everyone. Assessing your eligibility and considering potential risks before proceeding with laser eye surgery is crucial.

Understanding Laser Eye Surgery

Before delving into who should not have laser eye surgery, let’s briefly understand the procedure itself. During laser surgery, a specialized laser is used to reshape the cornea, allowing light to focus correctly on the retina, resulting in improved vision. The two most common types of laser eye surgery are LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy).

Benefits Of Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery offers several benefits, including reduced dependency on glasses or contact lenses, improved vision clarity, and enhanced quality of life. Many individuals experience improved self-confidence and freedom from the hassle of daily lens maintenance or the inconvenience of wearing glasses.

Laser eye surgery, such as LASIK or PRK, offers numerous benefits to individuals seeking vision correction:

Improved Vision: The primary advantage is the significant improvement in visual acuity, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Quick Recovery: Patients usually experience a rapid recovery, with many noticing improved vision within 24 hours after the procedure.
Long-lasting Results: Laser surgery provides long-term results, often permanent, reducing the need for frequent prescription changes.
Enhanced Lifestyle: Freedom from glasses and contact lenses allows for a more active lifestyle, participating in sports and outdoor activities without hindrance.
Increased Confidence: Better vision can boost self-esteem and confidence in personal and professional settings.
Cost Savings: Over time, the reduced dependency on glasses or contacts can lead to cost savings on eyewear and related maintenance.
Minimal Discomfort: The surgery is generally well-tolerated, with minimal discomfort during and after the procedure.
Safe and Proven: Laser surgery is a well-established, safe procedure with a high success rate when performed by skilled surgeons.

However, it’s essential to consult with an eye care professional to determine individual eligibility and discuss potential risks and benefits specific to each person’s unique circumstances.

Can Your Eyes Be Too Bad For Laser?

Some individuals may have eyes that are too bad for laser eye surgery, such as LASIK or PRK. Laser surgery aims to correct refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. However, severe refractive errors, extremely thin or irregular corneas, or specific eye conditions may make the procedure risky or ineffective. People with high prescriptions beyond the range of the laser’s correction capability may not be suitable candidates. Additionally, those with unstable vision or significant eye health issues may not qualify. It’s crucial to have a comprehensive evaluation by an experienced ophthalmologist to determine if laser eye surgery is viable for each individual.

Factors To Consider Before Undergoing Laser Eye Surgery

Age And Eye Stability

Candidates for laser eye surgery must be at least 18 years old, as the eyes need to be fully developed. Additionally, the stability of your vision is crucial. If your prescription has been changing significantly in recent years, it is recommended to wait until your prescription stabilizes before considering surgery.

Underlying Health Conditions

Certain health conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, diabetes, or immunodeficiency disorders, may increase the risks associated with laser surgery. It is essential to consult with your ophthalmologist and disclose your complete medical history to determine whether you are a suitable candidate.

Pregnancy And Nursing

Pregnancy and nursing can cause hormonal changes that may affect vision stability. It is advisable to postpone laser surgery until after pregnancy and nursing to ensure accurate measurements and stable vision.

Eye Infections Or Diseases

Individuals with a history of eye infections, severe dry eyes, glaucoma, cataracts, or other significant eye diseases may not be suitable candidates for laser surgery. It is important to address these conditions and consult an ophthalmologist to determine the best action.

Medications And Eye Surgery

Medications That May Affect The Surgery

Certain medications, such as corticosteroids or immunosuppressants, may affect the healing process and increase the risk of complications. It is important to inform your surgeon about all medications you are taking to assess their impact on the surgery.

Medications That May Interfere With Recovery

Some medications, like those that thin the blood or increase bleeding risk, may interfere with the healing process after laser surgery. Your surgeon will provide specific guidelines regarding which medications to avoid before and after the procedure.

Unrealistic Expectations And Psychological Factors

Having realistic expectations is crucial when considering laser surgery. While the procedure can significantly improve your vision, it may not guarantee perfect vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. Unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction with the results. Additionally, individuals with psychological conditions that may affect their ability to cope with the surgery or recovery process should carefully evaluate whether laser eye surgery is the right choice for them.

Corneal Thickness And Eye Structure

The thickness of the cornea plays a vital role in determining eligibility for laser surgery. Thin corneas may not have enough tissue for the necessary reshaping, making the procedure unsuitable. Additionally, individuals with irregular corneas or certain eye structural abnormalities may not be good candidates for laser surgery.

Dry Eyes and Tear Production

Dry eyes can be a significant concern after laser surgery. If you already experience chronic dry eye symptoms, undergoing the procedure may exacerbate the condition. Adequate tear production and stability are essential for a successful recovery, and individuals with dry eyes should carefully discuss the risks and potential solutions with their ophthalmologist.

Contact Lens Use

Contact lens use can affect the cornea’s shape, and it is necessary to discontinue lens wear for a specific period before the surgery. If you are unwilling or unable to stop wearing contact lenses for the required duration, laser surgery may not be the ideal choice for you.

Eye Surgery Risks And Complications

As with any surgical procedure, laser surgery carries some risks and potential complications. While rare, these can include infection, dry eyes, glare, halos, double vision, undercorrection, overcorrection, or regression of vision. It is essential to thoroughly discuss these risks with your surgeon and weigh them against the potential benefits.

Who Cannot Perform LASIK?

Specific individuals may not be suitable candidates for LASIK due to various factors. Those who are ineligible include:

  • People under 18, as their eyes are still developing.
  • Pregnant or nursing women, as hormonal changes can affect vision stability.
  • Individuals with unstable or rapidly changing vision prescriptions.
  • Those with severe dry eye syndrome, as LASIK can exacerbate the condition.
  • People with thin corneas, as there may not be enough tissue for the procedure.
  • Those with certain eye diseases or conditions like glaucoma or cataracts.
  • Individuals with autoimmune disorders or suppressed immune systems.
  • Those with significant eye injuries or infections in the past year.
  • People with unrealistic expectations about LASIK outcomes.

Consultation with an experienced eye surgeon is essential to determine LASIK suitability and explore alternative vision correction options.

Which Of The Following Cannot Be Treated With Laser Surgery?

The following eye conditions cannot be treated with laser eye surgery. These include:

Cataracts: Laser surgery is not effective for treating cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): Laser surgery cannot cure or reverse AMD, a progressive condition affecting the central vision.
Glaucoma: Laser surgery cannot cure glaucoma, an eye disease characterized by increased intraocular pressure. However, some types of laser treatments can be used as part of glaucoma management to lower eye pressure.
Retinal Detachment: Laser surgery is generally not the primary treatment for retinal detachment, a serious eye emergency. Surgery is typically required to reattach the retina.

It’s crucial to consult with an eye care professional to determine the appropriate treatment for specific eye conditions. Medical advancements and techniques may have evolved beyond my last update, so it’s best to seek advice from a qualified eye specialist.

Laser Eye Surgery Side Effects

While generally safe and effective, laser eye surgery can have potential side effects, though they are usually temporary and mild. Some common side effects include dry eyes, glare, halos around lights, and sensitivity to light immediately after the procedure. Some patients may experience temporary vision fluctuations, such as difficulty with night vision or mild eye irritation. More serious complications like infection, corneal scarring, or persistent vision changes can occur in rare cases. Choosing an experienced surgeon and following post-operative instructions diligently is crucial to minimize risks. Not everyone is an ideal candidate for laser surgery, and a thorough pre-surgery evaluation helps identify potential risks and benefits for individual patients.

Does Laser Eye Surgery Hurt?

Laser eye surgery is typically a painless procedure. Before the surgery, the eye is numbed using anesthetic eye drops to ensure the patient’s comfort during the process. Most individuals report feeling little to no pain during the surgery, only experiencing mild pressure or discomfort. After the procedure, some temporary discomfort or dryness in the eyes may occur, but it usually subsides within a few days. The overall experience varies for each person, but most patients find laser surgery well-tolerated and virtually pain-free.

How Much Does Laser Eye Surgery Cost?

The cost of laser eye surgery varies depending on factors like the type of procedure, the surgeon’s experience, and the location of the clinic. On average, LASIK surgery can cost between $2,000 to $3,500 per eye. Advanced procedures like PRK or custom LASIK may be slightly more expensive. Keep in mind that these are approximate figures, and prices can differ significantly based on individual circumstances. It’s essential to consult with a qualified eye surgeon to get an accurate cost estimate based on your specific needs and requirements.

Alternative Vision Correction Methods

For individuals who are not suitable candidates for laser surgery, alternative vision correction methods can provide effective solutions. These may include wearing glasses or contact lenses, exploring implantable lenses, or considering other refractive procedures such as phakic intraocular lenses or clear lens extraction. Consulting with an experienced ophthalmologist will help determine the most suitable option for your specific needs.


While laser eye surgery can be life-changing for many, it is essential to understand that it is not suitable for everyone. Factors such as age, eye stability, underlying health conditions, medications, unrealistic expectations, corneal thickness, dry eyes, contact lens use, and various eye-related issues may disqualify individuals from being candidates for the procedure.

Consulting with an experienced ophthalmologist is crucial to assess your eligibility, discuss potential risks, and explore alternative vision correction methods that may be more suitable for your specific situation.

Please note that this article should not replace professional medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can anyone undergo laser eye surgery?

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for laser surgery. Factors such as age, eye stability, underlying health conditions, and various eye-related issues must be considered.

Is laser eye surgery completely risk-free?

While laser surgery is generally safe, it carries some risks and potential complications. These can include infection, dry eyes, glare, halos, double vision, and undercorrection or overcorrection.

What are the alternative options for vision correction?

Alternative options for vision correction include:

  • Wearing glasses or contact lenses.
  • Exploring implantable lenses.
  • Considering other refractive procedures such as phakic intraocular lenses or clear lens extraction.

Can I undergo laser eye surgery if I have dry eyes?

Individuals with dry eyes should carefully discuss the risks and potential solutions with their ophthalmologist before considering laser surgery.

Who should have laser eye surgery?

Suitable candidates for laser surgery are generally individuals with stable vision prescriptions, good overall eye health, and realistic expectations about the procedure’s outcomes. A thorough evaluation by an eye care professional is essential.

Extra FAQs Related To searches Laser Eye Surgery

Can I have laser eye surgery if my prescription keeps changing?

If your prescription keeps changing, it’s generally not recommended to have laser eye surgery. Stability in vision prescription is essential for successful outcomes.

Can I have laser eye surgery with astigmatism?

Laser surgery can often correct astigmatism along with other refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), depending on the severity and type of astigmatism.

How do I determine if laser eye surgery is right for me?

It is crucial to consult with an experienced ophthalmologist who can assess your eligibility, discuss potential risks, and help you explore the most suitable vision correction options based on your specific needs.

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Mark Brown

Mark Brown established this website passionate about helping as many people as possible live better lives by improving fading vision, educating others about age-related vision problems, and providing the best information for everyone.

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