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Is Lasik Worth In Your 40s, 50s And Beyond?

June 3, 2022

There are many misconceptions regarding the age criterion for LASIK.

The human eye can never be in the same condition throughout life. It changes continuously and eyeball growth can affect your eye powers. Patients who are under the age of 18 are not eligible for LASIK as their eyes need to have complete growth to stabilize the vision.

People over the age of 40 can have a risk of presbyopia which also needs to be taken care of. There are some myths which say that patients nearing 40 and above cannot undergo LASIK. But the reality is that LASIK has only one age criterion that is patients should be above the age of 18 and under 50. Presbyopics in the age range of 40-50 can also safely undergo LASIK with some adjustments as recommended by your eye doctor.

A lot of patients above the age of 50 want to experience spectacle free vision. LASIK might not be a suitable procedure for you. There are other procedures however which can eliminate your dependency on glasses.

What is LASIK?
Before understanding the eligibility or other conditions, it is important to know about  LASIK. LASIK – “laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses” is the process of reshaping of cornea using a laser. LASIK can be helpful for the following refractive errors:

  • Nearsightedness or myopia
  • Farsightedness or hyperopia
  • Astigmatism
  • Presbyopia: is the condition in which people gradually lose the ability to focus on nearby objects. The condition is common to develop over the age of 40. So if you are having a problem with presbyopia, you have the option for laser surgery and can be a good candidate for LASIK.

Conditions that can disqualify you for LASIK

  • Eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, keratoconus, corneal disease, dry eye syndrome, retinal pathology, lazy eye, eye infections, post traumatic or surgical scars.
  • An unstable eye prescription. You must have a stable prescription for at least 6 months.
  • Pregnant women and breast feeding mothers
  • If the size of the pupil is very large patient can experience glares or halos even after the LASIK surgery.
  • Corneal thickness: The LASIK procedure requires a cut off corneal thickness to withstand the procedure. Patients with low corneal thickness cannot withstand the laser procedure and therefore and not suited to it. There are other options such as phakic lenses or clear lens extraction for such patients.

LASIK in over 40, 50 and beyond
The success of LASIK is overwhelming in the case of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism and presbyopia. Patients over the age of 40 always have a question that whether LASIK is worth it for them. Such patients have a risk of presbyopia that limits the effectiveness of traditional LASIK but it can be overcome with some minor adjustments as recommended by your eye doctor.

People over 50 have a greater risk of other eye problems which make LASIK an unsuitable procedure for you. You may develop age related cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or have a retinal degenerative disorder known as macular degeneration.

So if you have healthy eyes and do not suffer from any other eye problems and are under the age of 50, LASIK is the procedure of choice for eliminating the need of glasses for you.

So how can you correct your vision or whether or not you have any option other than LASIK. If yes then what?

There is another option for ageing eyes is Refractive lens Exchange (RLE) or Presbyopic lens exchange (PRELEX) that involves the replacement of your natural eye lenses with artificial lenses called trifocal lenses. These lenses will focus light at three different ranges, near intermediate and far and thereby completely eliminate the need of glasses for the rest of your life.


Although you have got enough information about what is best for you; LASIK or RLE, you should also make an appointment with a doctor for a complete eye examination and find out whether LASIK or RLE is best for you.

Ojas Eye Hospital A Center of Excellence for Contoura Vision, Femto Bladefree Lasik in Mumbai, India.