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Home » Your Eye Health » Vision Surgery » LASIK – Criteria for Success

LASIK – Criteria for Success

LASIK can be a great solution for individuals that want clear vision without glasses or contact lenses, but it is not an ideal or even safe choice for everyone. If you have certain risk factors, not only will you likely not experience the positive results of LASIK but you could even experience unwanted complications.

If you are considering LASIK, keep in mind the following risk factors that typically disqualify a patient from candidacy:

  1. Under 18 years old: Children’s eyes are constantly changing and it is only once a child reaches the age of 18, that we can be sure that their vision has stabilized. Patients should experience at least a year of stable vision before scheduling LASIK otherwise they are risking the chance of having to repeat the surgery.
  2. Pregnant or Nursing Women: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause changes to your eyes and vision and could take up to a year or so to return to normal. Additionally, some of the medications used during or after LASIK could be harmful to a baby that is in utero or nursing. If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or nursing, speak to your eye doctor about if and when you can consider LASIK.
  3. Very High Prescription: Patients with a particularly high myopia or hyperopia may require too much tissue removal to properly fix the vision, increasing the risk of the procedure. In such cases, your doctor may recommend an alternate procedure such as PRK.
  4. Eye Problems or Diseases: If your eyes are not healthy, you can increase your risks of complications and inhibit the process of healing that takes place following the surgery. For chronic issues such as dry eyes, cataracts, glaucoma or other serious problems you may be disqualified from LASIK or any other surgical procedure. Other conditions such as an eye infection or injury may simply require you to wait until your eye is completely healed.
  5. Irregular Eye Anatomy (Such as Large Pupil Size or Thin Corneas): Patients with exceptionally large pupils may be disqualified from LASIK due to a higher incidence of negative side effects such as poor night vision, halos, double vision or glare. For LASIK to be successful, the cornea needs to be a certain minimal thickness. For those with thin corneas, an alternate treatment may be recommended.
  6. Systemic and Autoimmune Medical Conditions: Certain systemic diseases and medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV, immunodeficiency or rheumatoid arthritis that can affect your body’s ability to heal properly can disqualify a patient from LASIK. Certain medications can also disqualify you from being a candidate.
  7. Prior Eye Injury: Certain eye injuries, especially those that result in corneal scarring can pose as a risk for successful LASIK surgery.

Eye doctors and surgeons may have differing opinions as to which conditions and circumstances will disqualify you from LASIK candidacy. Your eye doctor and/or surgeon will complete a thorough exam to assess the risks and potential outcome to determine if LASIK is right for you.

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Dear patients,

As your eye care professionals, your well-being is important to us! After careful consideration of the most recent recommendations of the CDC, AOA and FDA regarding the current COVID-19 situation, we feel that it is best for you, our team, and our community to limit our physical interactions with one another until the threat of the virus has passed. Therefore, we will be closing the office on Friday, March 20 at 12:00 noon and will remain closed until at least March 27, but most likely longer.

In the meantime, if you have a true ocular emergency, please call 850-216-2020 to reach the doctor on call. We will be doing our best to manage all urgent eye problems in such a manner as to limit any possible spread of the virus.

For those patients with appointments scheduled for the week of March 23, we will be calling to reschedule your appointments once we have a better estimate regarding when we will reopen. Because our schedule is already quite full for the next several weeks and because we realize that many of you have already waited several weeks for an appointment, we will be adding additional time slots to the weekly schedule as we attempt to accommodate each of you in a timely manner. We ask for your patience and your flexibility in this matter.

In addition, if it appears to still be reasonable, we plan to be open briefly on Wednesday, March 25 from 10:00am -12:00 pm to allow our patients to pick up any previously-ordered glasses and contact lenses. Please call the office when you arrive and we will deliver your eyewear to your car.

If you need to order contact lenses during this time please email the office at

contacts@tallahasseeeyecenter.com. Be sure to include your contact information and someone will reach out to you. We will do our best to monitor this email daily.

Online ordering is also available at www.tallahasseeeyecenter.com

We will be closely monitoring the situation and will notify you as soon as we make the decision to reopen. It is our hope that we will soon be on the other side of this situation and that our community will remain healthy and strong.

Stay well, Drs. Whaley, Strickland and Hough