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Is laser eye surgery right for me?

Published on 15th October 2019

Tired of wearing glasses or contact lenses to see clearly and considering laser eye surgery? Laser vision correction can improve a wide range of prescriptions, including short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. And once you’ve received treatment, the results can be life changing.

Laser eye surgery is suitable for most people, but there are a number of conditions that may affect your eligibility for treatment, which we’ll outline below. However, the presence of one of these conditions doesn’t necessarily mean you are unsuitable for treatment.

The best way to find out if vision correction is right for you is to book a consultation with our surgeon. They will assess your eyesight and eligibility for treatment, discuss your options and answer any questions you have so that you can make an informed decision on whether you would like to go ahead with treatment.

But as a starting point, read on to find out about eligibility for laser eye surgery…

Your prescription

Firstly, you must be at least 18 years old and have a stable prescription to have laser eye surgery.

You will also need to have a prescription that falls within the treatable range for laser vision correction. You can use our online prescription checker to find out if yours is suitable for treatment.

If you come in for an assessment and consultation, bring a copy of your prescription from a recent eye test with you. We will do another eye test to compare it against and determine the stability of your prescription and whether you are eligible for treatment.

Conditions that may affect your eligibility

If you have one of the following conditions it may affect your suitability for treatment right now, but the surgeon will be able to confirm this during your consultation:

  • Eye infection - your eyes will need to be clear of infection before treatment
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding - we recommend that you don’t come for a consultation until 3 months after weaning
  • Diabetes - although if you have healthy retinas and your diabetes is well controlled you should be okay for treatment
  • Increased internal eye pressure
  • Chronic dry eyes
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Your prescription is low (under 0.75) and you do not have astigmatism
  • Very large pupils with high correction

(This is not an exhaustive list) 

It’s unlikely that you will be suitable for laser eye surgery if you have one of the following conditions, but if you’re unsure, please call one of our patient advisors on 01204 387467 to confirm: 

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, SLE, Lupus
  • Keratoconus
  • Macular degeneration
  • Crohn's or collagen disease
  • Optic nerve damage
  • Blindness in one eye or partial sightedness
  • Glaucoma
  • Herpes of the eye
  • Iritis
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • A squint or prism which is not corrected by contact lenses

(This is not an exhaustive list) 


I’m 61 years old - am I too old for laser eye surgery?

No - you may still be suitable for treatment at 61. Your surgeon will be able to confirm this during an assessment.

I have thin corneas - am I suitable?

Some patients with thin corneas may not be eligible for LASIK, however, SURFACE treatment may be a viable alternative for you.

Can I have laser eye surgery if I’m colour blind?

Yes, colour blindness does not affect your eligibility for treatment.

Can I have laser eye surgery if I have cataracts?

No. Because a cataract is a problem with the natural lens itself, laser eye surgery will not improve your vision.

For answers to more of our most frequently asked questions, click here.


Hopefully this blog should have answered some of your questions regarding your suitability for vision correction.

But if you have any questions at all about our treatments, your suitability or possible alternatives, please call our friendly team on 01204 387467 or book a no-obligation consultation with our surgeon by completing the form below.


All eye surgical procedures carry a level of risk including not obtaining the desired outcome, through to varying levels of visual loss. Your eye surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits, including ones specific to your circumstances, at the time of your pre-operative consultation.