Who is not suitable for laser eye surgery?

09 December 2021

Author: Kate Green

who is not suitable for laser eye surgery

Who is a good candidate for laser eye surgery?


Making sure you’re suitable for laser eye surgery involves a number of examinations to ensure that it is safe for you to proceed to treatment. At Optimax, we have very stringent checks in place. We want the best results for our patients so, if we feel that you’re not entirely suitable for treatment, we won’t put you forward for it.


Most patients who meet the following guidelines are good candidates for treatment:

  • Aged over 18
  • Have healthy eyes
  • Can see well with glasses


It’s important to remember that if your visual problems can’t be rectified temporarily by wearing glasses or contact lenses, then it’s unlikely that laser eye surgery is a solution for them. Whilst treatment can give some patients vision better than they ever achieved with glasses and contact lenses, it can’t fix problems that aren’t managed by visual aids in the first place.


For the age requirement, 18 years old is our lower age limit. This is because in your childhood and teens, your prescription is likely to still be changing. Your prescription tends to stabilise in your late teens to early twenties, and you need a stable prescription to be suitable for laser eye surgery. The more stable your prescription, the longer your results will last after treatment. If your prescription changes too much after surgery, you may find that your vision begins to revert somewhat, undoing the results of treatment.


We also have the suitability requirement that you must have healthy eyes. This is because certain eye conditions or diseases can affect your chances of recovery and increase your risk of infection.


Which eye conditions can you still have laser eye surgery with?


In terms of your prescription, we can treat people with both long-sighted and short-sighted prescriptions, as well as astigmatism. However, we do need our patients to fall within the treatment parameters below:


In terms of eye conditions and diseases which don’t automatically preclude you from laser eye surgery, we can usually treat patients with the following conditions:

  • Blepharitis (eye infections) – however your eyes will need to be free from infection at the time of consultation and surgery
  • Increased internal eye pressure – eye pressure needs to be well-controlled
  • Diabetes – if your retinas are healthy, you can proceed to treatment
  • Large pupils with a high prescription
  • MS, dry eyes – your suitability will depend on the status of your condition
  • Epilepsy – you must not have had a fit within the last 2 years


If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, we ask that you wait three months from giving birth or finishing breastfeeding (whichever is most recent) before coming to see us. This is because your hormone levels fluctuate around this time and, in some women, this can cause their prescription to change. As discussed above, a stable prescription is imperative when it comes to being suitable for laser eye surgery, hence we have this requirement in place for our patients.


Which conditions make you unsuitable for laser eye surgery?


Although we can’t give absolute confirmation regarding your suitability without checking your eyes in person, you are unlikely to be suitable for laser eye surgery if you have any of the following conditions:


If you’re at all unsure about your suitability in relation to any of the above conditions or diseases, please do contact us on 0800 093 1110 or send us an email at enquiry@optimax.co.uk. Ultimately, we just want you to have a good visual result so, if we feel that you won’t benefit for laser eye surgery, we will advise you not to proceed. Similarly, if your prescription is unstable, we may recommend coming back to us in a year or two when it has stabilised.


If you’d like to find out a bit more about the laser eye surgery process, we’d recommend the following pages on our website:

Laser Eye Surgery information page 

Questions to ask before your laser eye surgery

What is Wavefront technology for laser eye surgery? 

What to do if you’re not suitable for laser eye surgery

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