While millions of individuals have successfully restored their vision with some form of refractive surgery, including LASIK and PRK, there is a percentage of individuals who are not considered to be suitable candidates. In order to determine your candidacy, your doctor will assess a number of factors, which Clarity Eye Group breaks down below.

Appropriate Refractive Error

A refractive error occurs when an imperfectly-shaped cornea or lens prevents light from focusing directly onto the retina. The length of the eyeball, changes in corneal shape and aging can all cause refractive errors. Refractive surgeries like LASIK and PRK reshape the cornea so it can better focus light onto the retina. LASIK and PRK cannot treat any refractive error. They are only designed to treat certain errors such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism.

Stable Vision Prescription         

Your vision prescription must be stable for at least one year prior to refractive surgery. Factors that may cause unstable vision include age, pregnancy and nursing, and certain medications.

Pupil Size

If your pupils are naturally large, you may have an increased risk of side effects after refractive surgery, such as blurry vision or poor night vision. Your pupil size will be measured during your consultation and your eye doctor can determine whether it excludes you from having surgery.

Healthy Eyes

Ideal candidates for refractive surgery must have healthy eyes. Eye injuries and certain conditions and diseases can affect how your eyes respond to surgery or heal afterwards. Examples of conditions that disqualify you from having LASIK and PRK are severe dry eye, pink eye, infection, cataracts and uncontrolled glaucoma.

Overall Health

Uncontrolled health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes can impair your ability to heal after refractive surgery and thus may disqualify you from undergoing surgery. Similarly, certain medications can increase risks associated with LASIK and PRK. If you are currently taking any medications, be sure to tell your eye doctor about them so he or she can accurately assess your candidacy.


Candidates for LASIK and PRK must be at least 18 years old. Children and teenagers are not considered to be suitable candidates for refractive surgery as their eyes are still developing, which means their prescription may have yet to stabilize.

The only way to determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for refractive surgery is to schedule an in-office consultation. The eye surgeons are Clarity Eye Group are leaders in the field of refractive surgery, having collectively performed over 65,000 successful surgeries. To find out if you are an ideal candidate for LASIK or PRK, contact our Huntington Beach office today.