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I often get asked this question by the older generation. The minimum age for LASIK is 18 years with a stable number for atleast 1 year. There is no real maximum cut off for LASIK.

As one crosses the age of 40years, you tend to get a reading glass power, for which people start using Bifocal or Multifocal i.e. Progressive glasses. This is an age related process that everyone undergoes, and is called “Presbyopia”. The number for reading increases per year after 40, till the age of 60years. So basically, the complexity of the situation is that a person after the age of 40years now has two numbers to be treated – distance and near!

One option is to treat the distance number entirely (especially for people with high numbers), and prescribe a separate set of reading glasses. The second option is called “MONOVISION LASIK” where the number in one eye is treated entirely, and the other eye we intentionally leave back a certain number which helps for reading/ near vision. The issue here is that not everyone tolerates this treatment well, secondly since your reading number may still increase so this is just a temporary fix for a few years.  So with the above 2 options you still may require a set of reading glasses for fine print.

The newer “PresbyLASIK” is an option for age groups post 40 years who yet haven’t developed cataract. In this, the laser treats so as to create different zones in the cornea to address distance, intermediate and near vision. It is still undergoing long term trials and hence not everyone is using it freely.

Another option that people choose is a RLE- Refractive Lens Exchange.

The current day Intraocular Lenses have improved in their quality and provide bifocal and trifocal lenses that can be implanted into the eye after a cataract surgery, to reduce and almost eliminate dependence on glasses. In an RLE, we are just not waiting for you to develop a cataract- so effectively it is a clear lens that is operated and removed (by the same technique of a regular cataract surgery) and you are implanted with a Multifocal Lens which can address distance, near and intermediate vision effectively. The advantage is that you now won’t develop a cataract, and so one procedure has addressed multiple issues.

Which of these is best for you can only be determined by your pre-operative scans, your professional requirements and after assessment and detailed discussion with your Doctor. Ultimately, all of these are cosmetic procedures to help you get rid of your glasses !

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