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Three Reasons Laser Eye Surgery might not be for you

Laser Eye Surgery has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past decade, so much so that today, here at London Vision Clinic, we are proud to say that we can treat 98% of the patients who contact us.

However, even though Laser Eye Surgery can now treat conditions which were once believed to be untreatable—such as very high prescriptions and ageing eyes—there are still certain instances in which Laser Eye Surgery is not appropriate or effective.

Fortunately, not all of those conditions are permanent, meaning it may just be a short time until you are a suitable candidate for Laser Eye Surgery.

So let’s dive in and take a look at three of the most common reasons why Laser Eye Surgery might not be for you.

You don’t have a stable prescription

A fluctuating contact lenses or glasses prescription is an indication that you may not be ready for Laser Eye Surgery. Teenagers and young adults often experience such changes in their prescriptions up until around their early 20s, when refractive errors begin to stabilise. Others who may also experience similar issues include those with fluctuating hormones due to conditions such as diabetes, and those who are taking certain medications.

It is therefore practical to wait until such a time when your eyes are in a stable condition—this will be at least 12 months following your last prescription change—before undergoing surgery.

Of course you can still have a chat with a specialist consultant to find out the current condition of your eye health. Here at London Vision Clinic, our consultants quickly establish if—or when—you will be suitable for surgery by checking the thickness and shape of the cornea, identifying any underlying diseases, and evaluating your previous prescriptions.

You have poor eye health or overall health

As with many forms of surgery, it’s important to be in a good state of health before undertaking the procedure. In particular, if you suffer from collagen vascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus, your chances of having Laser Eye Surgery may be diminished. This is because such conditions which affect the immune system can cause complications to arise in the healing process.

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It is equally—if not more—important to have healthy eyes. For instance, there should be no evidence of ‘keratoconus’, a degenerative condition which causes the cornea to be thin and more conically shaped. As there needs to sufficient tissue in order to reshape the cornea, patients with such thin corneas may not be suitable for surgery.

And so, it’s only through an initial screening, when the thickness of the cornea is assessed, that the level of improvement which can be made to your vision can be determined.

Read more about eye health in our Q&A with Prof Reinstein.

You are currently pregnant or nursing

It’s well known that during pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing, it’s common to experience hormonal imbalances. Less known however, is that these changes can affect visual acuteness, and as a result disrupt the stability of prescriptions.

In order to once again become a good candidate for Laser Eye Surgery, it is often recommended that three menstrual cycles pass following the period of nursing.

Check out this short video where Prof Reinstein discusses the question: Can I have Laser Eye Surgery if I am pregnant or breast feeding?

If you’d like to find out if you’re a suitable candidate for Laser Eye Surgery, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.

Dr Tim Archer
Dr Tim Archer

Dr Timothy Archer graduated from Oxford and Cambridge Universities with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and a postgraduate degree in Computer Science. He joined the clinic in 2003, where he established his career specialising in laser refractive surgery research alongside Professor Reinstein. Today, he manages the in-house research team, of which achievements include 124 peer-reviewed papers, 32 book chapters, over 100 scientific articles and a published textbook. He also oversees and edits the content on London Vision Clinic’s website.

3 Reasons Laser Eye Surgery Might Not Be For You

  1. sam 30/11/2015 at 12:21

    How old do you have to be to get the procedure done?


    • Bethany Kingsley 18/05/2016 at 16:24

      Hi Sam,

      We do not see patients younger than 18.

      London Vision Clinic

  2. Jamie Breslin 17/08/2017 at 01:34


    I recently had an appointment with a laser eye clinic. I was told my eyesight is changing that I would need to wait around 10 to 15 years in order to have the treatment. I am currently 25. Will this always be the case and do you think technology will advance in the near future?

    Kind Regards
    Jamie Breslin

    • Bethany Kingsley 17/08/2017 at 08:05

      Hi Jamie,
      Did the clinic elaborate on why you would need to wait 10-15 years. That seems an awfully long time, we can often treat patients who have been told they are unsuitable elsewhere because of the surgical expertise technology we offer. I would recommend you speak to one of our patient care coordinators to see if we can help you. Please call the clinic on 020 7224 1005.
      Thanks, London Vision Clinic

  3. Nida 23/02/2018 at 07:52

    Hi , I needed to ask that I am on Harmones Replacement Therapy, and I am turning 30 this year, can I get Lasik surgery done? If I take a break from HRT for Lasik how many months before and after the operation it should be?

    • Bethany Kingsley 28/02/2018 at 17:08

      Hi Nida. Thanks for your comment. There shouldn’t be any need to stop taking HRT medication pre or post-surgery.
      It is however linked to a greater chance of dryness symptoms post-surgery, which if they arise are managed with lubricating drops given to your by your Optometrist.
      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

  4. Mani 13/03/2018 at 11:27

    I have a -7 eye power in my lift eye…
    Right eye don’t have power….
    I wearing glasses now
    Can I make leaser surgery?
    Please tell me

    • Bethany Kingsley 19/03/2018 at 10:50

      Hi Mani, the easiest way to find out what potential vision could be achieved, is to speak to our team of Patient Care Coordinators on 020 7224 1005 and book in your full eye health assessment. Laser Eye Surgery can only get you to your best-corrected vision (that achieved through glasses or contact lenses).
      London Vision Clinic

  5. Alex moore 23/05/2018 at 19:40

    Hi there i have been twice to a consultation , both said my eyes were too steep to havd it done , is there anything to change that , or be the case forever

    • Bethany Kingsley 24/05/2018 at 09:23

      Hi Alex, it is always difficult to say without seeing your eyes at an initial consultation. If you are keen to get another opinion you can call to speak to one of our Patient Care Coordinators on 020 7224 1005. They will be able to book you in for an initial consultation if they feel it may be worthwhile for you to find out more. Kind Regards, London Vision Clinic

  6. Reshma Shah 03/07/2018 at 15:39

    I gone through topo and pachy,report shows keratoconus suspect.Can i be fit for lasik treatment in future.
    how i can get treat if i am not suitable for lasik?
    my power is 7.50 – 2.75 cyd for both eyes and stable from last 4 years.
    Please suggest.

    • Bethany Kingsley 16/07/2018 at 11:07

      Hi Reshma,
      Thank you for your message. We would need to find out more about your eyes and determine the complexity of the Keratoconus, should it exist. Sometimes corneal collagen crosslinking can be combined with a very small amount of laser eye surgery.
      Should you wish to know more, please contact us for further information about what could be done on 020 7224 1005.
      London Vision Clinic

  7. Aziza Hakimov 21/07/2018 at 18:47

    Hi! I have -3.75 and -4.50 vision and it’s going to be getting worse for another six year and in the last three months it even got worse. I feel like sometimes I’ll scratch my eye while trying to take out my contacts too often or run my eye too much. Can I still get this surgery done?

    • Chloe Lay 23/07/2018 at 09:01

      Hi Aziza, thanks for your comment. We would need to see you for a full eye examination to determine your suitability, but these are common side effects caused by wearing contact lenses.
      If you would like to know more, please call us on 020 7224 1005.
      Thanks, London Vision Clinic

  8. Donna Barrett 19/08/2018 at 10:47

    Iam 51yrs old and have controlled type 2 diabetes, on Metformin. Hypertension on ramipril and high cholesterol on artovastatin. approx 6 mnths ago I had a small micro anurysim in my left eye. with these conditions in mind, would I still be able to proceed with laser eye surgery?
    Many thanks Donna

    • Chloe Lay 29/08/2018 at 10:04

      Hi Donna, thanks for your question.
      You would need to come in for full eye health examination as each patient is different. High ocular pressure can be a contraindication to laser eye surgery, so this will need to be measured and we will need to look into your family history. Similarly, we have treated many patients with diabetes previously but this will need to be well controlled and stable, requiring a letter from your GP. You can give us a call to discuss this further on 020 7224 1005.
      London Vision Clinic

  9. Farah 19/10/2019 at 19:45

    I’m 30 years old. My vision is -3.25 right now or you can say -3.00, my eye sight/ prescription is fluctuating from last a year or so. It used to be -4.00. So, basically its coming down. I’m interested in lasik sugery. Is it good for me.

    • Chloe Lay 11/11/2019 at 09:59

      Hi Farah, we cannot advise without seeing you for a consultation and completing a full eye health check of your eyes.
      IF you would like to know more, you can call us on 020 7224 1005.


  10. Sadiya 13/02/2020 at 04:04

    I am 24 years old and i had an cataract surgery of my left eye,in that i had change of lens with new lens and after six months i am getting some white colour spot in my eye.. doctor told me to go through a laser.
    I want to know if i can wait for atleast 6 months to go through for laser as because currently out of my town. Is it good for me?

    • Chloe Lay 05/03/2020 at 11:51

      Dear Sadiya,
      If you are experiencing problems with your vision we recommend you seek immediate medical advice from your treating clinic. We can’t comment on your eyes without seeing them, unfortunately.
      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

  11. Kitty 15/02/2020 at 12:14

    Does previous bone cancer (over 30 years ago) and current chronic osteomyelitis disqualificate me from having laser eyes surgery?
    Many thanks

    • Chloe Lay 03/03/2020 at 10:01

      Hi Kitty,
      If it is not affecting you around the face/eye area at all then it is not likely to be a contraindicator to laser eye surgery however, we recommend that you get in touch to discuss further on 020 7224 1005.
      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

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