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Is LASIK Safe For Children?

Updated on November 7, 2017

Is LASIK Safe For Children?

Most surgeons in the field of refractive surgery do not recommend LASIK operations for children. Although in extreme cases children are permitted to undergo the surgery. The reason for behind not allowing children to be subjected to this type of operation is that a child’s eye is not yet fully developed until the adulthood stage is reached or on the very least is the about eighteen years of age.

Reason for Limitation

A child’s eye is still in the process of adjustment and undergoes a period where in the cornea’s shape is changing. LASIK surgery will only provide a temporarily improved vision. In fact a child who has undergone LASIK will most likely require corrective surgery for most for the rest of his or her growing up years. Apart from that, LASIK surgery is more often than not performed on the adult patient’s eye while they are fully awake. This will prove to be a problem when operating on children especially for those who tend to be restless and might require heavy sedation to keep him or her still.

In addition to that the availability of evidences is quite scare. There are very few proofs to support the safety and efficacy in conducting the LASIK procedure to very young patients who exhibit extremely defective conditions in vision such as anisometropic amblyopia or what is commonly known as “lazy eye”.


In most cases of children having lazy eye a prescription for appropriate glasses or contact lenses is made. It is necessary for them to wear an eye patch on their good eye in order to force the bad eye to make the essential adjustment as a way of correcting the vision defects. The eye patch serves as a stimulus towards the improvement in eyesight. It is only when conventional ways of dealing with the condition or traditional treatment prove to be not effective that some doctors would consider the case to inevitably be subjected to the LASIK operation. In this case the eye doctor will authorize a LASIK surgery for the child.

Existing Controversy

Even though inherent challenges being faced in the conduction of surgery as a means of vision correction on children, the organization of ophthalmologists in their annual meeting have discussed the likelihood of expanding the scope of LASIK to include the particular age bracket. The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery gave a presentation and suggested the corrective surgeries that are commonly reserved for adults may in fact serve as the best type of treatment for adolescent and pediatric patients suffering from a variety of visual problems.

While nearly every pediatric and adolescent suffering from visual impairment may be viewed as a prospective candidate for refractive surgery, the most probable candidate who will likely attain the most significant and instantaneous benefits will be those children under the age of seven and are suffering from amblyopia.

Factors to Consider

Amblyopia is considered to be a serious problem in vision that is currently affecting an estimated three to five percent of the total population of children in the United States. When left untreated until the requisite age is reached, the critical stage in the development of vision that usually takes place between the ages of seven and eight years old, the visual defect may lead to a more serious condition that might even come to a point of permanent loss of vision for the rest of the child’s life. In the condition of amblyopia, the eye operation specifically LASIK refractive surgery might represent a great alternative rather than choosing the option of wearing glasses or conventional contact lenses especially when these are not being worn properly or when a child fails to adhere to the physicians direction and prescription.

There is absolutely no question regarding whether the majority of those children suffering from amblyopia should be subjected to the LASIK treatment procedure or the improper way of wearing contact lenses that are implantable. Some eye doctors believe that the benefits of the surgery will far more outweigh the risks that might be involved considering that the child’s vision might be compromised and may even end up forever lost.

© 2017 pranav61895


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      Rhonda R Gorman 3 months ago

      It is usually not recommended to people under 18, 16 in extreme cases. In youngsters, the eye is not fully developed and vision may change frequently