Ask the LASIK Surgeon
By Andrew Caster, MDLike This Page? Please Share!
Do you have a question about LASIK? We've posted lots of Q&As about LASIK and other refractive surgeries below. All were answered by Andrew Caster, MD.
Dr. Andrew I. Caster
Dr. Caster dedicates his practice — Caster Eye Center in Beverly Hills, Calif. — exclusively to laser vision correction. He has been chosen by Los Angeles Magazine as the "Best Laser Eye Surgeon in Los Angeles," chosen by W Magazine as one of two top LASIK surgeons in the United States and voted by other physicians as one of the "Best Doctors in America."
He is well known throughout the United States for his achievements in LASIK treatment and has performed more than 30,000 laser vision correction procedures.
To find the Q&As most helpful to you, please click on one of these subjects:
LASIK and High Myopia, Hyperopia or Astigmatism
Q: I wear contacts. My left eye is -7.50D, and my right eye is now -8.50D. Do I qualify for laser eye surgery, or is my prescription too high? — V.
A: You qualify based on your prescription. Actually, much stronger prescriptions can be treated. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am severely nearsighted in my left eye. If I got LASIK, would that correct it enough so that I could see with glasses or a contact? I can see out of it, but it is extremely blurry, to the point where the right eye utterly eclipses it. — M.C.
A: I don't have enough information to answer your question. You should see a LASIK specialist to determine if you are a candidate. — Dr. Caster
Q: I had surgery as an infant to correct my crossed eye, and my left eye is still lazy (but looks fine with glasses on). I also have astigmatism.
My current prescription is: right eye +2.75D +3.5 070; left eye +4.25D +3.0 104. I was told several years ago that I'm not a good LASIK candidate. Have advancements in the technology changed this at all, or am I still not a good fit? — J.
A: Your prescription is higher than the amount that is correctable with LASIK. — Dr. Caster
Q: My son has "irregular astigmatism." He is in the police academy and will have to quit if we cannot find a way to fix his uncorrected vision of 20/70 and 20/90 to at least 20/60 or better.
The one doctor we consulted with in our town would not do the surgery. Is it impossible to fix his irregular astigmatism with LASIK? Will he have to give up his dream? — K.
A: I doubt that he will have to give up his dream. Please consult a LASIK specialist; you may have to travel to do so. — Dr. Caster
Q: Does LASIK surgery successfully correct severe astigmatism? About five years ago I was told that I was not a candidate because my astigmatism was too bad. Now I am told that blade-free, all-laser Z-LASIK can correct my problem. Should I have the surgery? — T.L.
A: LASIK can correct very successfully up to about 6 diopters of astigmatism. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 35 and have been wearing contacts/glasses for the past 25 years. I have really bad eyes. I am nearsighted and have astigmatism. I am wondering if I would be a good candidate for LASIK.
My current contact lens prescription is: left eye -7.00D -2.25 cyl 010 axis; right eye -7.00D -1.75 cyl 180 axis. — W.
A: You are probably a candidate for LASIK. Complete evaluation is needed. — Dr. Caster
Q: Can corrective eye treatment work if you have a prescription of +7 D? And if so, would it be laser trestment or another type? — P.
A: Lens replacement is typically the treatment of choice for a prescription of +7 D. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 42. I have a -9.5 D prescription, and my corneal thickness is 510. I've worn contact lenses most of the time for 20 years now and wear glasses at night and days off.
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I don't like how I look with glasses and want to have laser surgery. I wouldn't mind wearing glasses -2 D or so to lose less corneal tissue with the surgery.
Is this a good idea? Or should I have a full-correction vision surgery? Is LASIK or PRK more advisable? — L.B.
A: PRK would probably be the better option for you, and you should be able to get a full or close to a full correction. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am curious if I would be a candidate for any type of refractive eye surgery. I believe I have hyperopia with astigmatism. My current prescription reads: right: +3.75D -1.50 x 161; left: +5.75D -1.75 x 004.
I am aware that I will most likely never see 20/20, but I am wondering if 20/40 would ever be a possibilty? — J.
A: You may be able to have lens replacement treatment. LASIK could probably correct your distance vision fully in the right eye; but it would be a stretch to use LASIK to get a 100 percent correction in the left eye. — Dr. Caster
Q: My son is 14-1/2, and his vision has been steady for the last couple of years. He has a +8.25 prescription in both eyes. He really wants surgery to help him see better to play sports.
What surgery would you recommend, and would he be able to have it? — S.
A: Unfortunately, there is no surgery for your teenage son. Hopefully he can wear contact lenses. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am severely nearsighted in my left eye and was wondering if I got LASIK, could it correct my vision enough so that I could see with glasses or a contact lens?
I can see out of the left eye, but it is extremely blurry, to the point where the right eye utterly eclipses it. — M.C.
A: I don't have enough information to answer your question. You should see a LASIK specialist to determine if you are a candidate. — Dr. Caster
Q: I had surgery as an infant to correct my crossed eye, and my left eye is still lazy (but looks fine with glasses on). I also have astigmatism.
My current Rx is: right: +2.75D +3.5 070; left: +4.25D +3.0 104. I was told several years ago that I'm not a good LASIK candidate. Have advancements in the technology changed this at all, or am I still not a good fit? — J.
A: Your prescription is higher than the amount that is correctable with LASIK. — Dr. Caster
Q: I wear contacts. My left eye is -7.50, and my right eye is now -8.50. Do I qualify to get laser eye surgery, or is my prescription too high? — V.
A: You qualify based on your prescription. Actually, much stronger prescriptions can be treated. — Dr. Caster
Q: I'm 16 with a vision prescription of -15.00. I'm aware that LASIK can be done only after my eyes have stopped changing and growing.
I've been wearing my glasses for 12 years and rigid gas permeable contact lenses for two years. My prescription seems to have maintained at this level for a year. If my eyes have stopped changing, can LASIK be done? Even if the maximum prescription requirement is below my eye prescription? Maybe decrease it from -15.00 to -2.00? — K.
A: The maximum treatment that LASIK can achieve depends on several factors, most importantly the thickness of your cornea. Doctors differ on the maximum amount of treatment they will perform. For me, the maximum is around -12.00. That would represent a very significant but not complete improvement in your vision.
Another technique to very seriously consider is phakic intraocular implant, whcih could possibly provide a complete correction for you. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am a 49-year-old female. I wore very thick lenses beginning at about 2 or 3 years old, until the age of 16 when I got hard contact lenses. I now wear gas permeable lenses, and I can't seem to get any glasses anymore that make my vision good enough to function daily with.
I am having difficulty getting good vision with these contacts and have been wearing glasses over them. I saw a LASIK doctor about 10-15 years ago who said I did not have enough tissue to work with.
I was wondering if enough progress has been made in eye surgery procedures that I could be considered a candidate now. — L.B.
A: There have been considerable advances, so I would definitely recommend that you get another evaluation. — Dr. Caster
Q: I've been wearing glasses since I was very young and have a high prescription. I frankly can't see without them. Can LASIK help restore my vision? I'm not saying it will give me perfect vision, but just help reduce my dependence on glasses. If LASIK can't do that, is there any other thing that can be done? — S.G.
A: LASIK improves vision to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses. You will need to have an evaluation to determine if you are a candidate. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have high myopia (nearsightedness) of -10.5 diopters (D). Am I a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery? What complications are involved? — Z.J.
A: Laser vision correction is not appropriate for all refractive errors, and doctors differ in what they consider the maximum amount of myopia, or nearsightedness, that should be treated.
Some doctors consider -8 D to be the maximum, but in the United States the FDA has approved LASIK to treat up to -12 D.
Some patients with myopia of -10.5 D may choose to have an implantable lens (known as a phakic IOL) placed inside their eye as an alternative to LASIK.
The same complications are possible for a -10.5 D myope as for any other patient undergoing LASIK surgery. However, there will be a higher chance of needing a LASIK enhancement — a second, fine-tuning procedure — to obtain the best possible vision. — Dr. Caster
Q: Is there a maximum number/power, above which a laser operation is not preferable? — P.S.
A: The maximum treatment varies, based on several important factors, most prominently the thickness of the cornea. Different doctors have different criteria that they use when determining maximum treatment. For some doctors, 8 diopters of nearsightedness is the maximum, while others feel comfortable treating up to 12 or 14 diopters. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have hyperopia (farsightedness) of +6.5 D in my right eye and +7 D in my left eye. Also, I have a "lazy" left eye from childhood. Can you advise whether I'd be a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery? And does my lazy eye prevent the surgery? — S.
A: I would advise against having LASIK surgery in your particular situation. The maximum amount of hyperopia that is approved for LASIK treatment by the FDA is +6 D, but many doctors choose +3 or +4 D as the maximum they treat. Some of the laser machines are a little better than others at treating the +4 to +6 range.
Depending on your age, refractive lens exchange, or clear lens replacement, may be a suitable surgical alternative.
Lazy eye, referred to medically as amblyopia, can prevent a person from being a LASIK candidate, but it depends on the degree of "laziness." — Dr. Caster
Q: I have farsightedness, with +6.5 D in my left eye and +2.0 D in my right eye. The research I've done up till now says that I am not a candidate for LASIK. I want your expert opinion on that. Is there any kind of laser surgery that can treat +6.5 D and help me get rid of glasses? — A.
A: A prescription of +6.5 D is beyond the range that can be corrected with LASIK. For some people in this range of farsightedness, a clear lens extraction may be a viable option. I recommend that you look into that option. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have -4.25 D of astigmatism in my right eye, while my left eye is perfect. I went for a consultation, and my corneas are of very good thickness and well shaped for surgery.
However, my doctor told me that I was borderline for the procedure since my astigmatism was so high. Even if I have the surgery, my right eye will not be nearly as good as my left eye and might have to go through an additional surgery.
On the Internet I was reading that LASIK can be used to treat astigmatism up to 6.00 D, and some people report perfect results after one surgery. What is your expert opinion? — A.M.
A: LASIK can treat up to six diopters of astigmatism, depending on the technology used. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have worn glasses with a prescription of -7 D for the past 13 years. Would LASIK surgery be safe for me? My eye doctor has screened me for LASIK using the Allegretto wavefront-guided laser. I'm concerned that LASIK surgery may affect my professional life (I am a software engineer) and night vision. — K.J.
A: Your situation is well within the range that the Allegretto technology system is used for, and with excellent results. Night vision can be adversely affected during the initial healing period (up to three months), but thereafter night vision is typically better than it was with glasses or contact lenses. — Dr. Caster
Q: Can laser surgery produce a farsighted outcome? My left eye is -0.25/-1.75 and my right is +1.50/-0.25. I would like to match my left to my right, while also removing any astigmatism in both. Is this possible? — E.S.
A: Yes, laser vision correction can correct nearsightedness or farsightedness, as well as astigmatism associated with either. So your eyes could be matched. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 20 years old and I have a high congenital myopia of -11 D. Am I a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery? Will I develop a cataract due to this surgery? — J.
A: You may or may not be a candidate, depending on a host of other factors. A consultation is needed with your eye surgeon. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have astigmatism. Can I still have LASIK surgery? — T.
A: Yes, LASIK is very good at correcting astigmatism. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have farsighted astigmatism in both eyes. My left eye is considerably better than my right eye; my right eye can't read very well unless the font is really large. Is this because of the astigmatism or something else?
If I were to get LASIK eye surgery, would my eyes be "balanced," i.e., would this bring my right eye up to the same level as my left? — M.
A: If the right eye is healthy, correcting the farsighted astigmatism would improve the vision, presumably to the level of the other eye. — Dr. Caster
Q: Can LASIK eye surgery correct astigmatism, or would eyeglasses still be needed? — T.B.
A: LASIK corrects astigmatism. Most people who have LASIK have some astigmatism and they do not wear distance glasses or contact lenses afterwards. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am legally blind in my left eye. Is it possible for LASIK surgery to help with getting my vision somewhat able to see out of that eye? I do wear glasses at this time and have a cataract in my right eye. — S.D.
A: Legal blindness means that even with the best glasses or contacts an eye cannot see better than 20/200. Many people do not use this term properly. If, however, the eye is legally blind in this accurate sense, then LASIK cannot help. — Dr. Caster
Q: I want to go for LASIK surgery to avoid wearing my eyeglasses, but I am not sure whether I am eligible for LASIK or not. My eyesight is: right eye -0.75 sph -0.75 cyl 100 axis; left eye -0.75 sph -0.75 cyl 80 axis. — R.B.
A: Your prescription is fine for LASIK. You should be able to get rid of your distance glasses. — Dr. Caster
LASIK and Age Limitations
Q: I have needed glasses since I was about 7. I have been wearing contacts since 5th grade. I have been intrigued by the idea of LASIK eye correction since I heard about it. I am set on having the procedure, but I need some advice.
I want the procedure as soon as possible. I will be 19 in two months. Is that too young?
My prescription is -3.5D and has not changed in more than two years. I am sick of glasses and contacts and cannot wait to wake up without blurriness or searching for glasses.
Also, I would like to know the average cost and recovery time. Rumors are that the procedure needs to be "redone" every five years. Is that true? — G.M.
A: If your eyes have not changed in two years, then you are probably a good candidate for LASIK. You will need to have LASIK in the future only if your eyes start changing again, which is unlikely. — Dr. Caster
Q: I was told years ago that before I would be a suitable candidate for LASIK, my vision would need to stop degenerating. Is this still true? My vision is very poor, and it gets a little worse every single year. I am 28. — C.
A: It really depends on the speed with which your vision is changing. LASIK will not stop your eyes from changing. If they are changing very slowly, you might choose to have the treatment, knowing that you might need an enhancement in future years if over time the eyes have shifted a significant amount. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am pursuing a career in the military, and my specific field would require me to have corrective surgery. I have 20/25 vision. I know they say there is no set age for the surgery, but it's usually only 18+. Is there any way it could be performed on a 17-year-old with parental consent? — J.G.
A: The treatment can be performed prior to age 18 with parental consent. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 19 and have been wearing glasses since I was 14. My prescription is -1.5D in each eye, and over the past two years my prescription has worsened by only -.25.
Should I make an appointment to talk about LASIK, or am I too young? — Z.L.
A: Wait one more year to make sure that your eyes are not changing anymore. — Dr. Caster
Q: I'm 16 years old, and I've been wearing contacts since I was 11. At age 14 I began getting really bad eye infections all the time, and I still do. My eyes became significantly worse since then, and they always seem to be red and itchy.
I wear my glasses when I need to, but they give me big headaches, and I don't like them. I've been considering getting LASIK eye surgery a year from now. I'm wondering if it would be successful and my eyes won't get any worse after that. Currently my prescription is -5D and -5.25D. — J.H.
A: LASIK will not stop your eyes from changing. If you have the treatment and your eyes change afterwards, you will then need to wear thin glasses or contacts, or have a repeat treatment. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 20.5 years old. Why do I have to be exactly 21 to receive PRK? I am old enough to serve my country (which I am) and have a family, but I can't choose what to do with my own eyes? — B.
A: You do not have to be exactly 21 to have PRK. In fact, the FDA approval is for people 18 or older, but it is even possible to have the treatment when you are younger than 18.
The important factor is whether you are still growing and your vision is still changing. If so, it might be unwise to have the treatment before your eyes have stopped changing, because if they continue to change you might then need further treatment. — Dr. Caster
Q: I'm thinking of getting laser eye surgery. I have been wearing glasses all my life. I am 18 years old, and if I recall properly my left eye is -5D and right eye is -4.75D. At what age do you suggest I have this treatment to correct my vision? — L.
A: I suggest that you wait until your prescription has more or less stabilized. Often this occurs by age 18, but sometimes not for a few more years. — Dr. Caster
Q: Can a person of my age (62) benefit from laser eye surgery? I use glasses for distance, and I do understand that I would still need reading glasses for near vision. — S.T.
A: Many people your age get laser vision correction. Other options, such as lens replacement, are also available. — Dr. Caster
Q: I'm 62 and have bifocals. Am I too old for LASIK? I don't want to wear glasses all the time. — D.B.
A: You are certainly not too old for LASIK! — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 19 years old and have been wearing glasses since I was 14. My prescription is -1.5 in each eye, and over the past two years my prescription has worsened only by -.25. Should I make an appointment to talk about LASIK, or am I too young? — Z.L.
A: Wait one more year to make sure that your vision is not changing anymore. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have a daughter who is 14 and has been wearing glasses since she was 7. She plays sports, and she is getting tired of wearing glasses.
Her right eye is -6 with -2 cylinder, and her left eye is -5.75 with -3 cylinder. Every year it is getting worse and worse. Should she get LASIK surgery, or should we just wait until her prescription settles?
Also, I have heard that there are contact lenses that help reduce the prescription. Is this true? And do glasses or contacts worsen the eyes quicker? — M.
A: It's best to wait to have treatment until her eyes have stopped changing. Most people wait until the age of 18, to be sure their eyes are not still changing, and many need to wait several years more.
Glasses and contacts do not worsen the situation. It is questionable whether gas permeable contacts would slow the progression. — Dr. Caster
Q: I'm 34, and my vision gets worse every year. Will LASIK stop my eyes from getting worse? Or is there a good chance I will be back in contact lenses after the surgery? Why? — D.
A: LASIK will not stop your eyes from changing. So you should wait until your eyes stop changing. Otherwise, you might have a successful treatment and then have to go back into glasses if your eyes keep changing. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 20 years old and have been wanting to get LASIK eye surgery for years. Every year my eyesight gets worse, and it's been doing this since I was 11 years old. When would be the appropriate time to get the surgery?
I cannot see without glasses or contacts, and I fear if I don't get the surgery I will end up going blind. I have been told by an eye doctor that they won't even consider it until you're at least 25, but everything I'm reading here says different, so I am confused. — B.
A: The age does not matter. Also, LASIK does not stop your eyes from getting worse. What matters is whether the eyesight is stable — not changing.
If you have LASIK and your eyes are still changing, you will be fine for a while, but then as the eyes change you will want to have LASIK again to fix your vision further. So we typically recommend that you wait until your eyes have stopped changing, which can happen at 18 or sometimes not until 25 years of age. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 17 years old. I'm also enlisted in the Marine Corps and was wondering if it is at all possible for me to receive this surgery before I leave for basic training in July [six months from now]. — L.J.
A: If your vision has been stable for a least a year, then you may be a candidate for treatment. I am sure that it can be arranged according to your schedule. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 15 years old. Could I get LASIK eye surgery? Why is LASIK not performed in younger children? — L.
A: We want to wait until the eyes stop changing before performing LASIK. Otherwise, if the eyes are still progressing into greater nearsightedness, the patient will be back in glasses. Typically, the eyes stop changing by the later teenage years. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 74 years old and nearsighted. Am I too old for LASIK? — J.S.
A: You are not physically too old. As they say, you are psychologically as old as you feel. — Dr. Caster
Q: I'm 45 years old. Is it worth getting LASIK? Are there long-term effects? — R.
A: It is worth getting LASIK if you want to be able to function without distance glasses or contact lenses. Of course, an individual evaluation is needed. Consideration is needed regarding your upcoming presbyopia, which means loss of near vision associated with age, and which occurs whether or not you have LASIK. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 77 and in excellent heath, with just the beginning of cataracts. Assuming I can have whatever cataract treatment I need beforehand, would my age preclude me from LASIK surgery? My current lens prescription is: SPH +0.75, CYL -1.00, AXI 105, ADD +2.75; SPH +1.00, CYL -1.00, AXI 105, ADD +2.75. — R.C.
A: Your age does not preclude you from LASIK, should it be needed after your cataract treatment. — Dr. Caster
Q: What is the oldest age at which I could consider LASIK surgery? Also, would it be advisable if had beginning cataracts? — A.W.
A: Generally, if your glasses or contact lens prescription is stable and your eyes are healthy, you likely are a good candidate for laser vision correction. You can have LASIK if you have mild cataracts, but thoroughly discuss the risk of your cataracts worsening with your surgeon before you proceed. — Dr. Caster
Q: I'm 18, and I've had glasses since I was in kindergarten. I don't mind wearing my glasses — I look fine. I don't always want to, but they're needed. I've worn contacts before, but they're truly not for me. In essence, what is the exact age most eyes stop developing, because I would LOVE to have LASIK surgery. — A.M.
A: For most people who have nearsighted eyes, their vision will stop worsening sometime between the ages of 16 and 22. Once the eyes stop worsening, they typically remain stable. We want to see two years of stability to feel comfortable that the growth phase is over. — Dr. Caster
Q: My 3-year-old son has amblyopia and esotropia. Is he or will he be a candidate for LASIK? Also, at what age is the earliest that we are able to perform LASIK surgery if he is a candidate? — A.
A: LASIK will not cure amblyopia or esotropia. If the amblyopia is severe, then LASIK is not indicated at all. The youngest age is typically around 18. — Dr. Caster
Q: I plan on having LASIK surgery when I turn 18, but I'm also enlisting in the Marines. Will my improved vision after LASIK be permanent? — C.
A: LASIK does not stop the eyes from undergoing naturally occurring changes in the future. Most people who are nearsighted do not undergo much change after the age of 18, but some certainly do.
That is why most doctors will want the patient to have stable vision for one to two years before having LASIK, because those people are less likely to change afterward. If your eyes do change a little in the future, then you can have another LASIK treatment if you want to. — Dr. Caster
Q: Would you recommend LASIK surgery when I turn 18? I'm currently 14 and wear bifocals. The prescription for my glasses, if I'm correct, are 2.5 top and 2.75 bottom. If my number doesn't change for two years, could I undergo LASIK? — J.
A: We would, of course, have to see what your eyes are like when you are 18. But that might be a good time for treatment. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have only been wearing glasses for two years. I am a 27-year-old female in active duty military. Would you recommend getting PRK or LASIK surgery so soon? — L.H.
A: I would recommend waiting at least another two years, to be sure that your vision has stabilized. — Dr. Caster
Q: Can you perform LASIK surgery on a 6-year-old child? What are the possible complications that may result? — A.M.
A: Laser vision correction is now being used in younger children on a very limited basis only for certain specific medical reasons.
In general, it is not used in people less than the later teenage years or early 20s because vision often does not stabilize until that stage in life. The other issue with younger children is cooperation, both during the treatment and recovery period. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 15 years old and my eyes have been stable at -4.25 D (left) and -4.50 D (right) for the past three years. Am I a good candidate for LASIK? — K.
A: I would recommend waiting until you are 18 years old, which is the age that the FDA has set as its minimum approved age. It is not necessary to follow the FDA approved age limit, but I think it is wise to wait. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 64 years old. Am I still a candidate for LASIK surgery? I have heard that at my age I will still need glasses to read up-close. — J.G.
A: Sixty-four is not too old for LASIK! (What would the Beatles have thought? They could have included a line about LASIK in their song, "When I'm 64.")
You can have both eyes adjusted for distance, and use reading glasses, or have one eye adjusted for distance and one for up-close reading. — Dr. Caster
Q: Are there any risks at the age of 57 with LASIK surgery? I am nearsighted, with healthy eyes. — W.M.
A: Your risks are the same as any other patient. The serious risks are exceedingly small. The more common risks include the need for a LASIK enhancement, temporary dryness and temporary increase in night halos. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am interested in getting LASIK; however, the prescription in my left eye has yet to stabilize. It has been changing by 0.25 D every year for five years now. First, is it possible that my prescription in that eye will never stabilize? Second, I have heard/read that some eye surgeons are willing to do the procedure if your prescription has only been slightly changing. Is this true and, if so, how likely is the procedure to be successful? — A.D.M.
A: LASIK will not stop the eyes from changing. So if your eyes change in the future, after your treatment, you will become a little nearsighted again. This can, of course, be corrected with another LASIK treatment. Typically, the eyes do stop changing, most commonly in the teenage years or early twenties. — Dr. Caster
LASIK and Eye Conditions, Allergies and Other Health Conditions
Q: I have very poor eyesight, with a contact/glasses prescription of -5.5D in the right eye, which has astigmatism, and -6.5D in the left eye, which is what they call a "lazy eye."
I really hate my glasses, as they constantly slide off my face during outdoor activities. Contacts always become bothersome for me, even when I wear the Acuvue Oasys lenses. Plus contacts are outrageously expensive, even with eye care insurance.
Can I still qualify for LASIK surgery, with these criteria? — D.P.
A: It depends on the degree of your "lazy eye." You will need to see a LASIK specialist to determine your eligibility. — Dr. Caster
Q: I had LASIK 10 years ago. It was successful, but I had issues with allergies and dry eye. I am 63 and seem to need glasses now for far away. Can I repeat LASIK, and will I experience the same allergy/dry eye issue again? And will my reading ability worsen? — M.B.
A: You can have LASIK again. You will probably have issues with dryness/allergies, though we have better techniques to deal with that now. The effect on reading will depend upon your exact glasses prescription. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 21 and have astigmatism in both eyes as well as cataracts in both. Would I qualify for laser eye surgery, and would it be a complicated surgery? Would I also have to go to a specialist to have it done if I qualify? — C.
A: LASIK should be performed by a LASIK specialist, and you need to be evaluated by a LASIK specialist. Whether you qualify or not for the procedure depends on how severe your cataracts are
and whether they are stable or progressive. — Dr. Caster
Q: Is there any type of LASIK surgery that is done on the retina? I have scar tissue, and doctors don't know how that happened, but it affects my vision. And it occurred only after I had a cataract removed. — J.U.
A: There is no LASIK for the retina. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have map dot dystrophy, severe astigmatism and significant myopia. Is it possible for me to have LASIK surgery and not exacerbate my dystrophy? — J.
A: Laser vision correction is possible, but the PRK version is preferred. There can be prolonged healing problems with map dot dystrophy if the LASIK version is performed. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 37 years old, a law enforcement officer of 18 years and a commercial pilot. I was born with a disease called "optic nerve hypoplasia" in my left eye but see well in my right.
I would like to have LASIK done so I can get rid of my glasses. The glasses are to correct my astigmatism. I have spoken with a few surgeons who say they would do it because LASIK has become so much better than it used to be. I know there are still risks, but I would like to know your thoughts. — J.H.
A: Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I still follow the rule that I will not perform LASIK on someone who can see well with glasses in only one eye.
The chance of a problem seriously affecting vision is very small, but I still do not want to take that risk with a person who can see in only one eye. — Dr. Caster
Q: I wore glasses from age 8 to 14 and contact lenses from 14 until now (age 38). I am nearsighted with -6D in both eyes. I was told that I have a "stretched retina" and freckle in my left eye that has been there for a long time.
My eye doctor said that shouldn't prevent me from having LASIK. Your thoughts? — S.
A: From what you have told me, you are a good candidate for LASIK. The stretched retina should be watched but does not affect the LASIK. — Dr. Caster
Q: My son is 25 and has had two brain aneurysms. The second one, about five years ago, left him with double vision. An eye doctor told us it was probably due to scar tissue on his brain from the surgeries.
I'm wondering if there is any LASIK surgery available that might help him? — C.S.
A: Aneurysms can sometimes affect the muscles that control the eye alignment. I would visit a strabismus specialist for an evaluation. LASIK is not the solution. — Dr. Caster
Q: I was born with nystagmus, and I am very nearsighted, with a prescription of -12.0 diopters in each eye. Am I a possible candidate for LASIK surgery? — N.C.
A: Yes, you may be a candidate for LASIK surgery. Nystagmus is typically not a factor, and many doctors treat patients who are -12. Other types of surgery, such as phakic lens implants, are also a possibility. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 58 years old and have been a diabetic since 1997. My current FBS (fasting blood sugar) when I test each morning has ranged from 108 to 128 over the past three months. My last A1C was 7.6 four months ago.
Am I a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery? I use the computer to do my job eight hours daily, five days per week. — S.J.
A: Your suitability for laser vision correction as a diabetic would depend on the condition of your eyes. If there is only minimal impact from the diabetes, and the diabetes is under good control, then you would be suitable. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have poor distance vision and some degree of astigmatism in one eye. I have tried many different contacts, and SynergEyes has been the best but still not great.
I believe some of my problem may be due to the CHOP chemo I underwent 10 years ago, as well as genetics from my mother's side of the family. Do you think I am a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery? — D.
A: It is possible that you are a candidate for laser vision correction. You will need to be evaluated by a LASIK surgeon. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have a few questions: First, I have a disorder called cone dystrophy (I have lost and damaged cone cells in my retina). Can I still get LASIK eye surgery?
Do I need to get LASIK surgery every year? Is it safe to have it more than once? What can I do after LASIK surgery to keep my vision in good shape? Here is my prescription: right: -0.75D -100 x 093; left: -1.25D -025 x 175. — E.
A: I would not recommend laser vision correction for you, due to your condition. — Dr. Caster
Q: My mom is legally blind. She lost her vision a couple years back. Is there any surgery that can get her vision back or at least to see objects? — J.B.
A: Whether your mother's vision can be restored depends on the exact cause of her blindness. She would need to be examined by an eye surgeon. — Dr. Caster
Q: Is there any reason to worry about having laser eye surgery on someone with mild chronic lymphocytic leukemia? I am needing no treatment for CLL. — B.T.
A: With any surgery we worry about infection and healing. Infection is very, very rare with laser vision correction, and healing factors are only rarely affected by general health. So if you are stable and experiencing close to normal infection resistance and healing patterns, you should be able to have laser vision correction. I would discuss it with your hematologist. — Dr. Caster
Q: Will my prior corneal injury of 33 years ago complicate LASIK surgery, as daily eye fatigue gives me the same scratched feeling as I had then? I do have dry eyes and have just started using lubricating eye drops. I am not adjusting well to progressive lenses, so I need to familiarize myself with options. — A.K.
A: You will have to be examined to determine if your prior corneal injury will affect LASIK treatment. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 30 and want to have laser surgery. I have about +3 and 2, if I am not mistaken. I have also a lazy eye on the left eye.
If I do the surgery, what chances have I got that I will not wear glasses again? Here in Malta this operation has been done for only the last two years, and therefore there are no long-term studies and information on it. Do you advise me to do it or not? — C.M.
A: Laser treatment for people like you has been performed for around 15 years, and there are no significant long-term problems. The main problem is that the treatment can wear off partially, and thus further laser treatment may be needed when you are older.
Treatment is not recommended for people with severe lazy eye — only mild to moderate cases. The treatment should eliminate your need for glasses. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have been told I have dry eyes, but I do produce tears. It's just that the tear quality isn't good, as they dry up really quickly. Would laser surgery be good for me? My eyes are -4, I think.
Also, I can choose which eye to look out of, as I have a lazy eye. Would this make a difference? — C.
A: The lazy eye is not a problem if you can see well out of either one. Fish oil pills can help greatly with the tear quality. Laser treatment can be performed unless the dryness is severe, though sometimes the PRK version is preferable in dry eye situations. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have double vision and have a prism fitted in my glasses. Would laser surgery work for me? I am 53. — V.C.
A: Laser surgery will not eliminate your need for prism. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am nearsighted, have astigmatism, and have a prism in my eyeglass prescription. I have taken all the self-assessment questionnaires, and they indicate that I may be a candidate for LASIK surgery. I am wondering if the prism in my prescription would disqualify me. — D.B.
A: It depends on how well you would do without the prism. We cannot create prism with LASIK. After treatment, you will not wear glasses, and therefore will not have prism.
Maybe the prism isn't really needed? Testing will answer that question. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have had a lazy eye that turns in and causes me double vision since I was 2 years old. I have had muscle surgery to correct the problem, but my eye is still turned in without glasses or contacts. Can LASIK straighten my eye without glasses or contacts? — G.L.
A: If glasses (without prism built in) or contact lenses cause your eye to straighten, then LASIK will do the same. — Dr. Caster
Q: I'm only 27, and my eyes are -7 and -7.5. I have been wearing glasses for as long as I can remember. I wore contact lenses for about five years, and recently I was diagnosed with a visual alignment issue. I was told that I could not wear contact lenses anymore due to the recent discovery. Because of that diagnosis my new glasses have both bifocals and prisms.
Years ago I was told I would not be a good candidate for LASIK due to the severity of my eye problems, and my symptoms would come back in 20 years. Is this still the case? — T.
A: LASIK can correct all of your vision problems except for the alignment problem. That requires prism glasses or eye muscle surgery. — Dr. Caster
Q: I was diagnosed with dry eye and minor blepharitis and switched from contacts to glasses. Is it possible to get LASIK surgery under these conditions with positive results? — M.P.
A: Yes. Dry eye and minor blepharitis are very common in the general population, and people with these conditions can have LASIK successfully. Very severe dry eye or severe blepharitis requires treatment of the condition before laser treatment and might prevent the laser treatments if the condition is too severe. — Dr. Caster
Q: Is a COPD patient at high risk during laser eye surgery? — C.R.
A: You must be able to lie on your back for five minutes in order to have laser eye treatment. — Dr. Caster
Q: I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa when I was in the 4th grade. I am now 22 years old. Will PRK or LASIK surgery correct my vision in the same sense contacts or glasses do? With contacts my vision is able to get to 20/ 20 in my left eye and 20/15 in my right. I understand the procedure will not cure my disease, but can I be treated? — D.O.
A: The treatment corrects your vision in the same sense that glasses or contacts do. — Dr. Caster
Q: I tested positive on the PPD test [tuberculosis skin test]. I don't have TB. I am currently taking INH. Am I a good candidate for LASIK? — B.S.
A: INH will not affect the LASIK treatment. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have von Willebrand disease, with an associated prolonged APTT (clotting time). When having dental surgery I must have DDAVP to normalize my bleeding risk. Would this be the same for LASIK? Is a bleeding disorder a contraindication for LASIK? — S.
A: For people with bleeding disorders such as yours, I recommend the PRK version of laser vision correction. When this variation is used, there is no risk of bleeding. — Dr. Caster
Q: Will having von Willebrand disease affect the healing process after the surgery? Also, will I be able to even have the surgery, since I have the disease? — B.
A: Von Willebrand disease is a bleeding disorder. This precludes the LASIK version, but not the PRK version, of laser vision correction. — Dr. Caster
Q: This one may be out of left field. Soon after I was born, a tumor grew and attached itself to my right tear duct. When it was removed, the tear duct came with it; therefore, my right eye is chronically dry.
I am a few days short of turning 22, and it has yet to limit me in any way except not being able to wear contacts and enter into the military. Do you believe I could be a candidate for the procedure?
I've been dealing with this for my entire life, so it being dry doesn't faze me one bit. I just dream of one day waking up and not have to grab my glasses, because I almost literally do not know what that's like. — A.J.
A: I do not think that laser vision correction is a good option for you. Because of your extreme dryness, there could be difficulty with healing. — Dr. Caster
Q: My son was diagnosed with amblyopia, or "lazy eye," at age 7. At no time has he dealt with strabismus (crossed eyes). He patched the affected eye with some improvement, but his vision is still far less than his better eye.
We are investigating LASIK options for him. Is it possible to have a general idea of how effective the outcome of the surgery will be prior to committing to it? — K.M.
A: LASIK can correct the amblyopic eye to the same degree that glasses or contacts can correct the vision. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have a lazy eye, which I've learned to called amblyopia. I am not able to see straight ahead, but I can see out of my periphery. Do you think that LASIK surgery would help my eye stop wandering? How do I go about finding the right eye doctor/surgeon? — J.D.
A: LASIK will not stop your eye from wandering. It does not cure amblyopia. — Dr. Caster
Q: I was born with crossed eyes, and had corrective surgery when I was 18 months old.
I've had to wear glasses all my life and I cannot see very well past four to five feet in front of me, besides shapes and blurs. I cannot wear contacts, mainly because I was told I am very sensitive to light, so I have had to wear tinted glasses.
I was thinking of getting LASIK surgery, but not sure I could due to my corrective surgery when I was younger and the severe sensitivity to light i have now. Is it still possible I could have the surgery and it would help my vision and the sensitivity to light? — I.M.
A: LASIK would not help your sensitivity to light, but could probably help your vision. An examination by a LASIK specialist is needed. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have a lazy eye, and my right eye drifts inwards a bit when I don't wear contact lenses or glasses. Would having LASIK eye surgery produce the same results as wearing glasses or contacts, i.e., no drifting of the right eye occurring? — K.M.
A: The eye alignment after LASIK would be similar to the alignment with contacts. Glasses sometimes have prism built into them, which can change the eye alignment in a way that contacts or LASIK do not. — Dr. Caster
Q: I've been told I have a scar on my retina. Can LASIK fix the problem with my vision in that eye? I wear glasses, but only need them for the one eye. Would I still need to wear glasses? — L.H.
A: LASIK will not repair the scar in the retina, but it can eliminate the need for glasses. I would only recommend LASIK if both eyes with glasses are capable of seeing quite well. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have worn contact lenses for years. About two years ago I was diagnosed with blepharitis. Is it ever possible to have LASIK surgery with this condition? Is there a permanent cure for blepharitis? — S.M.
A: Blepharitis is not a serious condition. It is sort of like dandruff, which can be an annoyance but is not particularly harmful. There is no cure; it comes and goes over time. But you can certainly still have LASIK surgery. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have blepharitis which is completely controlled by daily warm eye compresses. I am 68 years of age. Could I be a candidate for LASIK surgery? — A.W.
A: If your blepharitis is under good control, and you are 68 years young, you are a probably a good candidate. — Dr. Caster
Q: I've had several cosmetic eye procedures. I was told I have dry eyes, and scar tissue as a result of the dryness. My vision hasn't been worsened by this. Can I still have LASIK surgery? My wish is to not ever wear glasses again. — A.E.
A: People with dry eyes can have laser vision correction. Sometimes, the non-flap version is preferable. If dryness is truly severe, no treatment is advised. However, the dryness is often better after laser vision correction than it was with contact lenses, which accentuate dryness. — Dr. Caster
Q: If there is a history of glaucoma (mother/aunt/uncle) in my family, is it better for me to have PRK over LASIK surgery, in case I develop glaucoma myself as I get older? — M.
A: Neither LASIK nor PRK will impact your development of glaucoma, nor will it influence the treatment of glaucoma. So choose whichever you prefer — LASIK or PRK — based on other factors. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have type 1 diabetes, which is managed with an insulin pump. I know diabetics typically are not candidates for LASIK because of slower healing, but I tend to heal a lot faster than normal, at least with piercings and tattoos. Could it still be possible for me to get LASIK done? — H.
A: Many LASIK surgeons will not treat patients with type 1 diabetes. Many others, however, do feel comfortable if the diabetes is well controlled and if there are no significant complications from the diabetes. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have coloboma in both eyes. The left eye is more severe; most of my vision is out of the right eye. Currently I have about 20/40 vision. I wear glasses but am able to drive, etc. Would LASIK be an option for me to correct the level of sight I have in the right eye? I have been told not to pursue it from some people, but I want to improve my vision as much as possible and make it easier on me when I am renewing my drivers license. — M.K.
A: Coloboma can present a problem for the eye trackers on the lasers. I would want to test your eye on the laser tracker to make sure that the tracker was performing normally before recommending the procedure for you. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have severaleye allergies (pollen, dust, animal dander, etc) and very easily irritated eyes. I cannot wear my contact lenses longer than a few hours because I get burning and red, bloodshot eyes.
When tested during my LASIK evaluation, my eyes were determined to have only "mild" dryness. Dry eyes can be a possible side effect of LASIK, and I wonder if this would exacerbate my eye irritation.
I would rather walk around with blurry vision than have burning/dry/painful eyes forever — so am I still a candidate for LASIK with "mild" dry eyes and multiple allergies that cause eye irritation? — T.
A: Eye allergies and eye dryness are different things, though they both can cause irritation. LASIK can sometimes make dry eyes more dry, but if it occurs, typically this is only during the first three months of healing.
Also, many people say that their eyes are much less dry-feeling after LASIK because now they do not use their contacts, which aggravated the dryness feeling. So mild dryness is one of the main reasons many people have LASIK, because the mild dryness makes contact lens use difficult and they are very happy after LASIK.
Try omega-3 fish oil pills for your dryness — three pills every morning. It works wonders for dry eyes. — Dr. Caster
Q: Is LASIK applicable to albinos? — C.A.
A: LASIK can be given to people with albinism of the eyes, to correct the vision as well as glasses or contact lenses can. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am thinking about having LASIK but I suffer from migraines. I was told from one doctor that I have to be off my triptans (a kind of medication) for three months because they can affect the shape of the cornea; another doctor said they don't. Who is right? — A.
A: Your medication will not affect your lasik treatment. — Dr. Caster
LASIK and Presbyopia
Q: I am 52, and I have one long-sighted eye and one short-sighted. I would like to be able to give up glasses. Is laser eye surgery possible? I've been told that age 40 is the limit. — K.C.
A: Blended vision is for people 40-50 or older in which one eye is adjusted with LASIK for close vision and one eye for distance vision. — Dr. Caster
Q: I've been using glasses for about 12 years now and have become quite used to them. But I've also been interested in getting eye surgery to correct my vision.
I've had contacts before, but they irritated my eyes too much. Is there a way to correct my vision but still use my glasses for reading? — R.G.
A: You would probably be able to have laser vision correction and still use glasses for reading. — Dr. Caster
Q: I chose monovision LASIK about a year and a half ago. My vision is not what I had anticipated, and in fact the eye that was corrected for farsightedness seems to be deteriorating. I am 53. What are my options? — D.I.
A: It sounds like a touchup is in order. — Dr. Caster
Q: Can LASIK eye surgery improve reading? I was told by friends that it can improve only your far vision and you still need reading glasses after LASIK surgery. — M.
A: LASIK can improve up-close vision in many cases. It is too detailed to explain all the variations here. You will need to visit with a LASIK specialist. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 54, and my close-up vision has gone downhill over the past couple of years. Will it continue, or will it taper off at some point? Am I safe at this age for LASIK, in the sense that I'm older and my vision won't deteriorate much more? Or do I wait and see if I continue to get worse? — R.B.
A: Your close-up vision will continue to worsen as you get older, whether or not you have LASIK. There is no reason to wait. — Dr. Caster
Q: Can this eye surgery correct the need for reading glasses that comes with age? I'm 48 and always had perfect vision, but for about the last five years I've needed to use reading glasses. My far vision is fine, but up close I can't focus. — H.F.
A: Yes, LASIK can correct the need for reading glasses by using the monovision technique. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 57 and wear over-the-counter reading glasses. I have never worn prescription glasses. I am very interested in LASIK surgery. Do I have to wear prescriptions before becoming a candidate? — B.F.
A: LASIK can be useful to people like you who use only over-the-counter reading glasses. — Dr. Caster
Q: I asked about LASIK the last time I got glasses and was told that because my eyes were "add" (+2.75), I was not a candidate for the surgery. Is this true? — R.K.
A: You can most likely have laser treatment to correct your distance vision, and then you would use reading glasses for up-close reading.
Alternatively, you could possibly have one eye adjusted to take care of the up-close reading. — Dr. Caster
Q: I had PRK to correct farsightedness 11 years ago at the age of 43. I am now 54, and my near vision is progressively getting worse (due to age, I presume). Is it possible to have either LASIK or PRK correct my vision to at least the ability to read newspapers or magazines without needing glasses? — L.V.
A: Monovision PRK may be possible in your situation, which would adjust one eye to read newspapers while the other eye remains for distance. Testing will determine if this is the right solution for you. — Dr. Caster
Q: I had LASIK surgery done on both of my eyes 11 years ago. I can still see 20/20. However, I've been wearing prescription glasses only for reading or using the computer. Can I get one LASIK surgery done for reading? — K.T.
A: Yes. You can have one eye corrected to help with your near vision. — Dr. Caster
Q: I'm 50 years old and use bifocal lenses. Does LASIK correct farsightedness and nearsightedness in one procedure? — M.
A: You can have one eye adjusted for optimum near vision and one eye for distance. You can try this ahead of LASIK with glasses or contacts to see if you like it. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am nearsighted — have been since adolescence. I'm 48 years old and now have bifocals, which really hinder me in my work as a maintenance technician. I can never seem to get my head in the right position to see things up close in electrical panels or engine compartments of vehicles, etc. Is there any way to correct my close-up vision? It's really tough to do my job sometimes. — M.K.
A: You can correct your distance vision in both eyes, you can correct your near vision in both eyes, or you can (after appropriate testing to determine your suitability) correct one eye for distance and one eye for near. — Dr. Caster
Q: I had LASIK three weeks ago and am very pleased with my far vision. However, I am having to use two pairs of glasses: one to see in the middle distance and one for reading. I was offered monovision, and now I regret not choosing it. I am 58. Is it still possible to have monovision surgery for one eye? — R.S.
A: Yes, you can have one eye adjusted for midrange or near, as you desire. — Dr. Caster
Q: About three months ago I had LASIK surgery that corrected both eyes for distance. I am over 40. Prior to the surgery my near vision was not that bad. Since the surgery I need reading glasses to even read my phone. Is it possible to have an enhancement to create monovision since I have already had the other? — T.N.
A: Yes. I feel that this should have been carefully explained to you, and hopefully demonstrated, prior to your first treatment. Make sure any proposed change is carefully demonstrated with glasses before treatment. — Dr. Caster
Q: I had LASIK surgery about 13 years ago, and it worked great to correct my nearsightedness. Now I am 47 and need reading glasses. Can I have another LASIK surgery to fix that? — J.
A: Yes, you can have a LASIK treatment to fix your near vision. — Dr. Caster
Q: I had LASIK about 20 years ago. I am now 64 and wear a contact lens in my right eye for reading. Distance vision in my left eye is not good. Of course I cannot wear a contact lens in that eye because of LASIK-induced flattening. The left eye has astigmatism. Can I get LASIK again? I have no cataract yet in the left eye. — S.H.
A: You can most probably have LASIK in both eyes, adjusting one for near and one for far. — Dr. Caster
Q: I have 20/20 distance vision but need reading glasses to for up-close tasks. I was told if I get LASIK to correct my near vision, I will have to wear glasses to see far because the corrective surgery will affect my distance vision. Is that true? — D.F.
A: That is correct, if you adjust both eyes for reading. However, many people choose blended monovision, in which one eye is adjusted for near vision and one for far (either using contact lenses or laser correction).
This seems strange to many when they first hear about it, but it works very well for a significant portion of the reading glass population. A simple test by your LASIK doctor can determine if this would be right for you. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am a 45-year-old woman and underwent LASIK last week to correct my vision (-4.75 D in both eyes). I was able to read and do computer work without glasses before the operation. Now, I have to use +1.50 D glasses for reading and computer work.
I don't want to wear reading glasses. Is there any remedy available, or can I get LASIK again to correct my near vision? — H.M.
A: It is too soon to know what your reading vision will be. The near vision after LASIK should end up to be similar to the near vision with your distance glasses on, assuming both eyes were corrected for distance with LASIK. If you are interested in monovision blended vision, you can have one eye adjusted for near and one for far. — Dr. Caster
Q: I'm a 57-year-old male in very good health and now wearing -9.00 D (Acuvue Oasys) contact lenses in both eyes. My vision has been very stable for years. I have very mild astigmatism in one eye but not enough to require a contact lens for astigmatism.
I'm considering LASIK surgery, but am concerned that if my eyesight should worsen as I get older I may not be able to have the surgery performed. If my eyesight should worsen, is it still possible to have LASIK performed with the intent to: 1) reduce the power magnification needed of my contact lenses; and 2) to see better when not wearing contact lenses? — M.
A: Several factors, such as your corneal thickness, are important. If your corneas are of normal or greater thickness, you should be able to get your eyes corrected with LASIK and not need contact lenses or distance glasses. You will need reading glasses, unless you choose the monovision LASIK option. — Dr. Caster
Q: I am 51 years old and have been wearing glasses since I was 14 and contacts since 18. I almost exclusively wear contacts. One eye is at -4.50 D for near and one is -3.25 for distance. Both eyes are BC 8.3 and DIA 14.0. My glasses are just for distance, no bifocals.
My problem is with contacts; I can see pretty well but I don't think it's as clear as it should be either near or far. With my glasses, when I want to read fine print I take off the glasses and can read better than with the contacts, but I have to hold it four to six inches from my eyes.
My doctor says my eyes are very steep. Can corrective surgery make my vision clearer than with contacts? I have no trouble adjusting to both eyes being corrected differently. — S.B.
A: Correcting one eye for near and one eye for far is called monovision, or blended vision. Monovision is never as good for near or far as having both eyes adjusted exactly for near or far, as bifocal glasses do. But monovision is great in that you don't have to deal with bifocal glasses. So you could have LASIK treatment to create monovision, but it will probably be similar to your contacts. Oftentimes we can make vision better than with the contacts, but we never want to promise that. — Dr. Caster
Q: I had LASIK surgery seven years ago to correct short-sightedness (myopia). Is there an equivalent to correct long-sightedness and do I need to wait until my eyes have been "stable," i.e., my long-sightedness has remained the same for a year, before going ahead with the surgery? — A.H.
A: The farsightedness of middle age will continue to worsen as you age, up until age 60 or so. But if you are now using reading glasses you may benefit from monovision laser treatment. You need to be tested to see whether it is appropriate for you. — Dr. Caster
LASIK After Other Eye Procedures
Q: I was born with cataracts, and they had to take them out when I was a baby. I never had artificial lenses placed in my eyes, so I used to have to wear thick glasses until I got contacts. I was wondering if I can be a candidate for LASIK to at least reduce my prescription to -9D or less. Right now both eyes are at -12.50D. — A.
A: No, LASIK would not be a good option in your situation. — Dr. Caster
Q: I would like to get LASIK to correct my astigmatism. Recently I was told that I have early cataracts.
Should I get the LASIK now, and will it keep astigmatism away after cataract surgery? Or am I better off having the astigmatism addressed during cataract surgery? (I'm hoping I can wait until I turn 65 — I'm 59 now.) — H.
A: When cataract surgery is performed, the nearsightedness, farsightedness an