North County Laser Eye Associates

Teens and LASIK – LASIK in Carlsbad

Can teens have LASIK? – LASIK in Carlsbad

Many teens are seeking a way to be free of glasses. Teens often perceive negative social effects of wearing glasses, or simply don’t feel that glasses fit in with their look. Many also have very active lifestyles, which can make glasses seem like a hassle. Because of such factors, teens are particularly likely to want to get rid of their glasses, and many are intrigued by LASIK because it offers the possibility of doing just that. We have often had parents bring teens to our office seeking LASIK in Carlsbad.

Are teens candidates for LASIK?

Unfortunately, however, teens aren’t candidates for LASIK. In fact, LASIK is not approved by the FDA for anyone under the age of 18. While this is the bare minimum, it’s usually best to wait a few years longer in order to have LASIK. Most eye doctors recommend waiting until a person is in their early to mid 20s to have the procedure.

Why can’t teens have LASIK?

Teens aren’t candidates for LASIK because their eyes are still growing. It’s common for a person’s visual prescription to change over time, as they go through the teen years and into young adulthood. If a teen were to have LASIK, he or she might become free of corrective lenses for a short time. However, as the eyes grow and change, the need for corrective lenses might gradually return. One or more repeat LASIK procedures would then be necessary in order to keep the patient free from the need for glasses or contacts.

There’s nothing magical about a person’s 18th birthday that stops them from growing. In most people, the eyes continue to change during early adulthood, through the early 20s. In order to be a candidate for LASIK, a patient must have had a stable vision prescription (the amount and type of correction in their glasses or contacts) for at least a year. For some people, the vision won’t stabilize until the mid 20s or even later.

Can teens get contacts?

If teens don’t want to wear glasses, contact lenses are the best option for them. There’s no specific age at which contacts become an acceptable treatment option. Once a person becomes capable of managing contact lenses, they can wear them. The teen must be able to put contacts in and take them out, keep them clean, and keep track of them. The exact age at which teens are ready for this responsibility varies from person to person, but it’s usually between ages 11 and 14.

If a teen is begging for LASIK, we often recommend that they get contacts. This way, they’ll at least be free of glasses while they wait for their eyes to stop growing and vision to stabilize. Modern contact lenses are comfortable, effective, and virtually invisible while being worn. There are a variety of options, so each teen can choose the contact lenses that will work best for his or her lifestyle and vision needs.

Teens and LASIK in Carlsbad

If you are a teen (or the parent of a teen) who needs corrective lenses to see clearly, come for a consultation to learn more about your options from our eye care professionals. If you want to be free of glasses, you can learn about the different types of contact lenses so that you can choose the one that would best fit your lifestyle. You can also get all of your questions about LASIK answered, so that you can decide whether this is an option that you’d like to pursue when you’re old enough. Contact us to schedule your appointment.