Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is there a minimum age for receiving a refractive surgery consultation?"
Can my 14-year-old have one? I've been researching and this seems like a good idea.
While every patient is unique, most doctors will be extremely cautious before recommending elective surgery on minors. This is for many reasons, but in this particular case it is likely not to be a good idea because of the changes that can occur to vision over very short periods of time during the young years. For example, the teenage years are notable for frequent changes in your prescription that is needed to obtain glasses or contact lenses. Before suggesting a surgery to correct vision, your ophthalmologist will usually want the prescription to be steady for some extended period of time. If your son's vision has been stable for the last few years, he may be an exception to this rule, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has still limited the use of the lasers that are used perform the surgery to those who are at least 18 year old. That means that your son will need to wait at least a few more years until he can even be considered, no matter how stable his vision has been. If you have questions about the best option for improving his vision, please speak with your ophthalmologist or optometrist.
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