Is LASIK a Good Option for Teens?

By Gordon Wong, OD on August 21, 2015

Group of happy teensLASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is one of the most popular elective medical procedures in the country. This treatment, which takes just a matter of minutes, can correct several types of refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. If your teen wears glasses or contacts, he or she may have approached you about LASIK. Now that your child is in high school and is getting ready for college, he or she no longer wants to wear glasses. The doctors at GW Eye Associates, Inc. will provide an honest treatment recommendation. We want your teen to enjoy sharp vision and a healthy self-confidence at the same time. To learn more about LASIK and teens, contact our San Diego practice today.

What Is LASIK?

During LASIK, your surgeon will use a microkeratome or IntraLase® laser to make a thin flap in the surface of your eye. Carefully lifting this flap, he will use another laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. By removing tiny amounts of tissue, he can change the way that light passes through your eye. After surgery, light will refract correctly, focusing in the center of your retina. When the surgery is finished, your doctor will lay the flap back down, and it will heal naturally within a few days. You will typically notice an immediate improvement in your vision, although the full results of your treatment may not be apparent for up to a year. Once your eyesight has stabilized, you could enjoy 20/20 vision or better.

Is LASIK Right for Your Teen?

Although LASIK is an incredibly successful and low-risk treatment, the FDA has not approved it for anyone under the age of 18. Until this age, the eyes are still developing, so results will typically be temporary. Patients would have to undergo an additional surgery once their eyesight had stabilized. Your teen should wait until he or she is at least 18 before considering laser vision correction. After that, LASIK may be appropriate, as long as he or she has worn the same glasses prescription for at least a year.

Other Treatment Options for Young Patients

Although LASIK is not a good option for teens, your child can enjoy sharp vision and still feel good about his or her appearance. At GW Eye Associates, Inc., we proudly offer a complete on-site optical center. If your teen chooses to keep wearing glasses, we can help him or her select from our wide range of designer frames. We understand that glasses are a form of self-expression, and we will help your child choose the frames that match his or her fashion sense and personality.

On the other hand, your teen may be ready to try contacts. These lenses are safe and comfortable, but they do require special care. One of our optometrists will talk to your child, making sure that he or she is ready to handle the responsibility of contacts. Then we can teach your teen how to wear and care for the lenses. We offer several types of contacts, and we will choose the one that best suits your teen’s vision needs and lifestyle.

Contact Us for an Eye Exam and Consultation

Give your teen the gift of clear vision and self-confidence. Contact us today to schedule an eye exam and find out the right type of corrective lenses for your child. 

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