LASIK surgery is a common and safe procedure for healthy patients. However, if you have a chronic illness like diabetes which can affect your eye health, it’s natural to wonder whether you will qualify LASIK. That’s why, “Can diabetics get LASIK?” is a recurring question among our patients.
In the past, it was recommended that diabetics not undergo LASIK surgery. However, as the industry has gathered more data and perfected the procedure as a whole, diabetes no longer immediately disqualifies you from LASIK surgery.
Instead, candidacy depends on the individual’s current control of their diabetes and whether or not they have any related issues that can complicate surgery or the recovery process.
While your particular situation will vary, let’s take a quick look at how diabetes affects your eyes and what might allow a diabetic to qualify for LASIK.
Relative and absolute contraindications for LASIK & diabetes
When it comes to LASIK, diabetes may be considered either relative contraindication or an absolute contraindication.
When LASIK is considered a relative contraindication for a diabetic, it means that LASIK can be performed but caution must be used. In this situation, an individual will have controlled blood sugar and no additional complications that could make surgery not a viable option. The benefits of the surgery outweigh any potential risk.
When LASIK is considered an absolute contraindication for a diabetic, it means that LASIK cannot be performed. In this situation, an individual will have an uncontrolled form of diabetes and/or will have additional complications that make surgery not possible.The benefits of the surgery do not outweigh the potential risk and it’s unclear whether or not the procedure will provide lasting benefits.
What disqualifies a diabetic from LASIK?
LASIK requires a doctor to change the shape of your cornea. However, with uncontrolled diabetes, your vision may change quite often. Because of this, your doctor may not be successful in reshaping your cornea in a way that will provide a positive and lasting effect on your vision.
Possibility for infection
LASIK involves the removal of tissue from the cornea. For diabetics, this tissue removal could lead to additional LASIK diabetes complications such as scarring, leaking fluid, and more.
Just as it’s not good to perform eye surgery with high blood sugar, elevated blood sugar levels can also negatively affect the recovery time of any surgery. So whether it’s LASIK or another procedure, a doctor may decide not to perform the surgery based on the idea that you may have a more difficult or longer recovery.
Related Content: Learn more about the LASIK recovery process and LASIK after-care tips.
Diabetes can lead to vision problems like fluctuating vision loss and eye health issues such as diabetic retinopathy. LASIK cannot fix this issue. If your vision loss stems from diabetic retinopathy, you won’t be a candidate for LASIK surgery.
Think you might be suffering from diabetic retinopathy? Check out our article on the four stages of diabetic retinopathy to learn more.
How to qualify for LASIK with diabetes
To find out if you qualify for LASIK in Houston, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Manage your diabetes: LASIK is not an option for individuals with uncontrolled diabetes. You should strive to achieve optimal eye and physical health to ensure you can be a candidate for LASIK.
- Review your history with your doctor: Your doctor will want to review your history of diabetes with you in detail and determine if you are at risk of any future complications. Your eye doctor will likely need to have a discussion with your primary physician.
- Schedule a full examination: Your doctor will also need to examine your eyes and get a full workup of your eye health. He or she will need to determine if you have any eye issues that would eliminate you as a candidate for LASIK.
Can Diabetics get LASIK? Discuss the possibility with a trusted ophthalmologist
If your diabetes is well-managed and you are curious about LASIK surgery, we encourage you to consult a trusted ophthalmologist at Eye Center of Texas about your options.
The trained ophthalmologists at Eye Center of Texas can help spot and treat eye issues, including diabetic retinopathy, diabetes-related fast-growing cataracts, macular degeneration, cataracts, and more. As home to some of the best LASIK in the country, over 275 doctors in Houston refer their patients to Eye Center of Texas.
Call Eye Center of Texas at 713-395-1515 or contact us online today to get started.