Many teens have to wear glasses, and sometimes this can be frustrating, especially for active teens who love playing sports. They may find their glasses getting in the way of their favourite activities, and they may choose to use contact lenses.
If wearing glasses and contacts is frustrating for your teen, they may start to ask you about the possibility of undergoing laser eye surgery. Here’s what you need to know about this treatment so that you can help your teen to understand it better.
What Are the Types of Surgery Available?
There are a number of different eye surgery treatments available these days, so the first thing to know is the differences between them.
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) was the first type of surgery. However, although this is still used, it is not very common these days.
The most popular is LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis). This is a form of laser eye surgery that involves lasers, and it covers many prescriptions and the recovery period is also short. However, it is not always suitable for all patients, including those with thin corneas. Instead, they may need PRK or LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis).
You can find out lots more about the different types of eye surgery available at LaserEyeSurgeryHub.co.uk.
How Old Do They Have to Be?
Although surgery is a popular option, it is not available for teens under 18 years of age. However, it is worth remembering that 18 is the absolute minimum, and often surgery should only be an option when they are even older.
Laser surgery is very accurate, but the prescription has to be stable for it to have the best results. Myopia tends to stabilise at about 20 years old, and this is when long-lasting results are best achieved.
When Should They Have a Consultation?
If your teen is keen to have eye surgery, they should have a consultation. They can do this after they have turned 18, and this is true even if their eyes have not stabilised. Even if they are not ready for surgery, they can still find out the shape of their cornea and the thickness, so they can find out whether LASIK or another option is most suitable, even though they may have to wait longer.
What’s the Best Alternative to Surgery?
While surgery is not usually an option for teens, there are other alternatives. Disposable contact lenses are ideal because they are comfortable and easy to use. A good pair of sports glasses could also be ideal for active teens.
Find Out More About Surgery
Even though laser eye surgery is not typically suitable for teens, even those aged 18, there is no reason why you cannot research the possibility of getting surgery. The more you and your child know about the various types of surgery available, the better prepared they will be should they decide to go ahead with the surgery when they are older.
It is therefore a good idea to have a consultation when they are 18 years old to find out whether surgery will be an option, and which type of surgery is going to be the most suitable for them. That way they can start preparing for the surgery a few years later so they know exactly what to expect.
Nicole Kay has two teenage sons and is a nurse at her local doctors surgery. She writes on health related topics for a number of blogs.