If you’re a millennial (or have a millennial) who’s ready for LASIK, it’s important to make sure that those eyes are ready too. It’s all a matter of maturity. Ocular maturity to be exact. Dr. Paul Mann of Mann Eye Institute & Laser Center sheds some light on why ocular maturity is important before getting the green light for LASIK, and the benefits of LASIK for the ‘Instagram’ generation.
What is ocular maturity?
A: Ocular maturity is where a nearsighted person has reached the pinnacle of their nearsightedness, meaning they’re not going to get any worse. There are really 2 cohorts of patients that develop myopia. Those that start developing it early on in elementary school, and it progresses pretty rapidly and stabilizes by the time they’re 18 to 21, and a group that gets it later on in adolescence that may not be totally stable until the age of 25 to 27.
How do you determine if a patient is in one category or another?
A: We like to follow our patients and compare their prescriptions over time. Patients that come to us that we’ve never seen before, we get their records and examine their prescriptions over time. Once you get to the point to where your prescription hasn’t changed within a 12–‐month period, then it’s stable and shouldn’t change much anymore. That’s how we determine it. It’s based on history.
When should a young person start having some kind of a screening if they may want LASIK someday?
A: I would say that they should start in their mid to late teens. They have a couple years to show their stability before we move forward with treatment. We would repeat these exams annually, and when the patients get to the point to where they’ve reached their stability, meaning their prescription isn’t changing anymore, then that’s when it’s time for them to have LASIK. Of course for anyone, we would wait until they were at least the age of 18. We’re not going to do LASIK on the pediatric population. We have a ton of these patients seeing our optometrists on a daily basis. We have around twenty–‐five optometrists at Mann Eye Institute. Their practices are filled with patients just like this.
What is the benefit of having LASIK, say when I’m twenty versus when I’m thirty?
A: You get to enjoy more time with the freedom of possibly not having to wear glasses or contacts. Most people in their forties start to lose the ability to focus on nearby objects due to presbyopia, so if you decide to have LASIK when you’re thirty–‐eight, you may only get seven years to enjoy it, which is still a great investment, but if you do it when you’re twenty, you may get twenty–‐five years of it. You get more “bang for your buck!”
For more info on the benefits of LASIK, visit www.manneye.com , or come check out our locations at Barton Creek and The Arboretum.