It's not too late for women in their 50s and 60s to consider LASIK eye surgery, says Leo Maguire, M.D., a Mayo Clinic ophthalmologist.
LASIK -- short for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis -- is a type of eye surgery to correct refractive errors or abnormalities in the eye's focusing power. It's performed most often on people who are nearsighted.
In an interview in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource, Dr. Maguire says there are extra considerations for women in their 50s and 60s who are considering the eye correction surgery.
Sometimes women in this age group seek LASIK because their eyes have become dry enough that they can no longer wear contact lenses. "In that situation, LASIK may not be a good option," says Dr. Maguire, because LASIK temporarily causes a decrease in tear production and women age 50 and older have a higher incidence of dry eyes than do men of a similar age.
The other concern for those over age 40 is presbyopia, a focusing problem that causes difficulty with reading and other close-up tasks. For these patients, LASIK may provide clear distance vision but reading glasses may be required. Some patients opt for a compromise solution where the dominant eye is corrected for distant vision and the other is corrected for near vision.
Anyone seeking LASIK wants to make sure the procedure will have good results and minimal side effects. That's entirely possible for women in their 50s and 60s as long as they are properly screened and weigh the risks and benefits involved.