How Young Is Too Young For Laser Eye Surgery?

As well as all the obvious advantages of being without glasses or contacts, Laser Eye Surgery is also one of the most sensible economic investments you can make.

The procedure will eventually pay for itself by avoiding the costs of regular visits to the opticians, contact lenses and solutions, and not least all those broken glasses and designer frames.

All this means that the biggest financial savings to be made are by those who have LASIK when they are young.

But that leaves us with the question: at why age are you eligible to have Laser Eye Surgery?

And how young is too young?

There’s no doubt that as we get older, time rushes by at an ever-increasing pace. But in our youth, it can appear to be going as slow as your grandma on the motorway.

This is especially the case when you’re counting down to something special like a birthday or holiday or throwing a party.

Or, getting rid of those specs and being free to swim or doing away with those contacts and being able to travel or go to a festival without carting all your optical equipment with you.

Counting Down The Days to Laser Eye Surgery

Cindy, a part-time member of staff at the London Vision Clinic, told me her son’s running career had taken off at university.

“He has always run 3K and 5K races and has recently taken on running half marathons”, she explained.

Cindy’s son, Thomas, had been short-sighted since the age of three. As he grew up and became interested in sports, especially running, his sight issues became increasingly irritating.

“He had been using contact lenses, and glasses for driving for some time; but he really wanted to have his sight corrected with Laser Eye Surgery for ages.”

However, like many young people, Thomas would have to wait a while before the procedure could be carried out in complete safety.

Laser Eye Surgery Mr Glenn Carp explains:

“FDA (American Food and Drug Association) guidelines say that the minimum age is 18, however, it may not be safe to operate on some young people until the age of 21 or later.

The reason that we don’t treat some younger people is that there are some underlying medical conditions of the eye that don’t present themselves until a certain age.

The genetic condition known as keratoconus is the main one. It is something that you are born with but which won’t show up until your eyes and body are more mature. In this condition, the cornea becomes weak and begins to thin on its own. A laser, used to reshape it could cause it to become unstable resulting in possible problems in later life.

That is why we are so careful to check for this condition — on average it affects one person in 2,000 and is especially common in people who wear glasses. It can be hard to pick up the extremely subtle early signs of this disease in the young — in older people, it will show itself in the cornea.”

Thomas had his first eye checks to see if he could have Laser Eye Surgery in his late teens, and unfortunately, by the age of 21, his prescription was not considered sufficiently stable for the procedure.

Finally, however, he had his surgery not too long afterwards, and now, at the age of 24, has been able to experience running races and altitude training in Kenya, all without the inconvenience of contact lenses.

As you can see, although there is a general guideline as to a minimum age for Laser Eye Surgery, it does vary from person to person. 

If you’re interested in having the procedure, the best thing to do is to speak to an expert and see if you’re eligible for a free, no-obligation consultation.