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Understanding LASIK Prescription Best Practices | Parkhurst NuVision

Category: LASIK

A Guide To LASIK Prescription Limits

What is the LASIK Prescription for?

Imagine you have difficulty seeing things clearly, like objects in the distance or up close. Well, a LASIK prescription is a personalized set of instructions given to an eye doctor to help correct your vision. This prescription is based on a thorough eye examination that measures the exact shape, health, size and prescription of your eyes. The doctor uses this information to calculate the precise amount of tissue that needs to be treated on your cornea using a laser during LASIK surgery. By reshaping the cornea, light can focus correctly onto the retina at the back of your eye, improving your vision and reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses. 


The doctor will consider your age, overall eye health, and other factors before recommending LASIK or suggesting alternative vision correction options. The goal of a LASIK prescription is to provide a safe and tailored treatment to help you see the world with greater clarity and freedom.


What Prescription is Too High for LASIK?

LASIK is most suitable for people with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism, but there are limitations to the extent of refractive errors it can address. If your prescription is too high, meaning you have severe nearsightedness, extreme farsightedness, or significant astigmatism, LASIK may not be the best option for you. Extremely high prescriptions can strain the limits of the laser’s ability to reshape the cornea adequately, and there is a higher risk of complications or suboptimal results.


The decision on whether a prescription is too high for LASIK depends on various factors, including your eye’s thickness, corneal shape, and overall eye health. 


Fortunately, there are alternative vision correction procedures available for individuals with higher prescriptions, such as implantable lenses (or phakic intraocular lenses). An experienced eye doctor will carefully assess your unique circumstances and recommend the most appropriate and safe treatment option to achieve the best possible vision for you. 

LASIK Prescription Limits for Hyperopia (Far-sightedness)

Being far-sighted, also known as hyperopia, means that you can see distant objects more clearly than nearby ones. Up-close objects might appear blurry or out of focus. Far-sightedness occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is too flat, causing light entering the eye to focus behind the retina instead of directly on it. This makes it challenging to perform tasks like reading, writing, or using your phone without experiencing eye strain or discomfort.


The standard prescription limits for those with far-sightedness depends on the severity of the condition and the individual’s age. For mild cases, a prescription might not be required at all, especially in young children whose eyes can often compensate naturally. However, for moderate to high levels of hyperopia, glasses or contact lenses are prescribed to help correct the refractive error and bring the focal point of light onto the retina. 


Optometrists and ophthalmologists determine the appropriate prescription based on comprehensive eye exams, measuring the degree of hyperopia, and considering the patient’s age and overall eye health. It’s essential to regularly visit an eye care professional to monitor any changes in prescription and ensure optimal visual clarity and comfort. 

LASIK Prescription Limits for Myopia (Near-sightedness)

Being near-sighted, also known as myopia, means that you can see objects up close clearly, but distant objects appear blurry or fuzzy. Near-sightedness occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too steep, causing light entering the eye to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This makes it difficult to see things like road signs, chalkboards, or faces from a distance without wearing glasses or contact lenses.


The standard prescription limits for those with near-sightedness vary depending on the severity of the condition. For mild to moderate myopia, glasses or contact lenses are prescribed to help focus light onto the retina correctly. In some cases, people with very low levels of myopia may not need corrective lenses for daily activities, but they might use them for specific tasks or when they experience discomfort. However, for high levels of myopia, stronger prescriptions are required to achieve clear distance vision. Myopia usually requires prescription eyewear, even in mild forms, to ensure clear distance vision and reduce eye strain. 


Regular eye exams are crucial to monitor any changes in prescription, especially in younger individuals, as myopia can progress over time.

LASIK Prescription Limits for Astigmatism


Astigmatism is a common vision condition that occurs when the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) or the lens inside the eye has an irregular shape. Instead of having a spherical or evenly curved surface, the cornea or lens is more football-shaped, with two different curvatures. This causes light to focus on multiple points rather than a single point on the retina, resulting in distorted or blurred vision at all distances. People with astigmatism may experience difficulties in seeing both nearby and distant objects clearly, and they may also suffer from eye strain and headaches.


For higher degrees of astigmatism beyond minimal ranges, stronger prescription eyewear or specialized contact lenses are used to improve visual clarity. An eye care professional will conduct a comprehensive eye exam to determine the exact amount and “axis” of astigmatism, and then prescribe the appropriate long term solution, like LASIK Eye Surgery. 


Be sure to talk to one of our doctors about not only the benefits of LASIK, but also any risks of LASIK that may pertain to your individual needs and circumstances.

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