Dr. Jank says LASIK is a great choice, except if you’re over age 45 when “a different set of variables comes into play.” He reports there are three areas to review for patients over 45 when considering LASIK:
- Is there a cataract?
- Is the patient’s vision changing?
- Would the patient prefer a refractive lens exchange instead?
Dr. Jank points out that before age 45, if you want to eliminate your dependence on glasses, “LASIK is your only option.” After age 45, if there is a cataract present, and it’s changing, a cataract extraction or a refractive lens exchange, may be a better option.” In both cataract extraction and refractive lens exchange, surgeons take out the old lens in your eye and replace it with a new lens. The difference is that in cataract surgery, the lens they’re replacing is cloudy instead of clear.
Dr. Jank says if you’re over 45, cataract extraction or refractive lens exchange are good options because, “you get a lot more for your money.” Compared to LASIK, there are five important benefits of refractive lens exchange when you have a cataract:
- Long-distance vision correction
- Intermediate vision correction
- Near-vision correction
- Your cataract can be removed
- Your vision quits changing
LASIK can correct your long-distance vision and possibly your intermediate vision, but not your close-up vision problems.