Lasik Surgery

Can A Child With Bad Vision Get Lasik Surgery?

in Eye Care by

Kids with bad vision often have a hard time with their glasses. And contact lenses for children pose a lot of problems since they can be uncomfortable. It’s not an easy solution for parents to find a good middle ground for their kids with vision problems. 

Which is why the thought of getting Lasik surgery is often looked into so they can solve their vision problems and not need any glasses or contacts at all. Unfortunately, it is not that easy a fix. 

If you are looking into Lasik eye surgery Utah or anywhere else for that matter, then you need some facts when it comes to your child’s vision. In this article, we will go over what your options are. 

Children under 18 do not qualify

Even though your child is having vision problems, they can’t get Lasik eye surgery. The reason being is that their eyes are still developing. Any surgery done on their eyes may lead to unexpected results later as they grow.

There is a high risk of permanent damage being done that can lead to lifelong problems. This is not just at the discretion of your doctor. It is a mandate by the FDA that stipulates that any laser surgery on children cannot be done until they are at least 18 years of age. 

There are, of course, many opthamologists that disagree with the stance of the FDA and believe that children can benefit from laser surgery to correct their vision. But, the FDA also believes that Lasik surgery shouldn’t even be performed on people that have changed their eyeglass or contact lens prescription within a year of the surgery for the same reason that there could be unexpected results. 

The best age for laser surgery

The FDA says that at age 18 children are old enough to get laser eye surgery. However, many opthamologists opt to not offer the surgery to those under 21. The reason being is that even at 18 many have not stopped growing and their eyes could still be developing. 

Once the patient reaches 21 years of age, then there is hardly any risk that their eyes could continue to change and lead to unexpected changes from the surgery. 

No matter the age of the patient, a thorough check of the eyes by a qualified ophthalmologist is needed to determine if laser surgery of any kind is going to work as intended. Not everybody qualifies for this kind of surgery.

People that are pregnant, have heart problems or other systemic diseases are not usually allowed to have this surgery. Hormonal changes can impact one’s vision so even in adulthood there are times when this could interfere with the surgery on your eyes. 

The best path forward is to have your child get an evaluation at 18 and see how it goes. If it looks like they are not eligible at that time, then they can always be reassessed at a later time. 

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