(NAPSI)—2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the first laser vision correction procedure where, for the first time, people with vision issues had an option beyond glasses and contact lenses to see well. So far, more than 19 million LASIK procedures have been performed in the U.S., proving it is a popular alternative to the struggle many people have with their vision. In fact, the U.S. military relies on LASIK for its operation-ready personnel. While technologies and techniques have advanced the science of LASIK, not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. On average, between 15 and 20 percent of patients are considered ineligible. While every patient is unique, there are general guidelines that surgeons use in determining if a patient is a candidate for LASIK eye surgery.

For adults over 18, LASIK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, within certain prescription ranges set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. LASIK improves vision by reshaping your cornea—the surface of the eye that helps focus light to create an image on the retina. A thorough eye exam will confirm the vision correction needed isn’t too extreme. Importantly, the prescription should be stable, meaning it has stayed the same for at least a year. During the exam, the thickness of the cornea is measured to make sure there is enough tissue for the reshaping required to achieve the desired amount of correction.

Certain health issues and medications may interfere with the healing process, making laser vision correction a poor choice. It is important that patients share their complete health history with their surgeon to ensure a recommendation for candidacy based upon all available facts.

Because many people are interested in LASIK, understanding that there is a process for becoming a candidate, accepting that the procedure has limits, and recognizing that there is a healing and recovery period involved is helpful in making an informed decision.

Knowing if you are a good candidate is important for considering any procedure, including LASIK. Finding and working with a highly qualified surgeon, having a complete evaluation of your eyes and vision, and doing your own research into the procedure are important steps in the process. Armed with the facts, both you and your surgeon will have the information needed to make the best recommendation for you and your vision.

To learn more about what to expect from a LASIK consultation, visit www.americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/blog.

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On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)