When is LASIK Medically Necessary?

when is lasik medically necessary

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LASIK eye surgery, an acronym for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, has transformed the field of vision correction. Traditionally viewed as an elective procedure to improve eyesight and reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses, certain conditions might render LASIK a medically necessary option. Here, we delve into the situations where LASIK transcends mere convenience, offering significant medical benefits.

What is LASIK?

LASIK is a type of refractive surgery that uses a laser to reshape the cornea, the clear front part of the eye. This reshaping allows light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina, which can drastically improve vision. The procedure is renowned for its precision and rapid recovery period.

When is LASIK Considered Medically Necessary?

While often considered elective, LASIK may be medically advisable in specific cases where alternative vision correction methods pose risks or fail to function effectively. Below is a detailed table that outlines conditions under which LASIK could be considered medically necessary:

Condition Description How LASIK Helps
Severe Allergies Patients who cannot tolerate contact lenses due to severe allergies. Eliminates the need for contact lenses.
Anisometropia Significant prescription difference between the eyes. Balances vision between both eyes.
Contact Lens Intolerance Inability to wear contact lenses due to discomfort or infections. Provides a permanent solution to glasses and contacts.
Thin Corneas Corneas too thin for safe contact lens wear. Reshapes the cornea without physical contact.
Occupational Requirements Jobs that require perfect vision without corrective lenses. Ensures compliance with job standards.
Refractive Stability Eyesight that has remained stable for at least a year. Maximizes the effectiveness of the procedure.

This table outlines instances where the advantages of LASIK can extend beyond convenience, providing essential vision correction that alternatives cannot offer safely or effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the effect of LASIK last?

LASIK is considered a permanent procedure; however, some patients might experience changes in their vision years after surgery due to natural changes in the eye. Factors such as age-related vision changes can affect the longevity of LASIK results.

Is LASIK painful?

One common concern is whether LASIK surgery causes pain. The procedure itself is largely pain-free, as numbing drops are used on the eyes. Post-surgery discomfort is typically mild and manageable, often described more as an irritation than pain.

What are the risks of LASIK surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, LASIK comes with potential risks. These include dry eyes, halos, glare, and undercorrection or overcorrection of vision. However, advancements in technology have significantly minimized these risks, making LASIK safer than ever.

Can LASIK fix all types of vision problems?

LASIK is highly effective for correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. However, it does not correct all visual impairments, such as presbyopia, which commonly occurs as a natural part of aging.


While traditionally viewed as elective, LASIK surgery can become medically necessary under certain conditions. For individuals facing severe allergies, significant anisometropia, or contact lens intolerance, LASIK provides a vital solution. At Liberty Laser Eye Center, located in the Washington DC Metro area, we harness state-of-the-art technology to deliver exceptional results. For further information about the transformative benefits of LASIK and to learn about our success rates, explore our detailed guides on understanding nearsightedness vs. farsightedness and LASIK eye surgery success rates. We invite you to contact us at Liberty Laser Eye Center for a consultation to see if LASIK could be the right choice for your medical and visual needs.

Liberty Laser Eye Center
8321 Old Courthouse Road
Vienna, VA 22182

(571) 234-5678

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