Are Diabetics Eligible for Laser Eye Surgery?

The short answer is “yes,” a person with diabetes is eligible for laser eye surgery or LASIK. It’s a tried-and-tested treatment for different vision problems, even though doctors used to avoid it for diabetics in the past. Today, however, you can get LASIK even if you have diabetes. However, you should know there are limitations; not all people with diabetes can undergo this procedure.

Diabetes and LASIK

Diabetes is a common metabolic disease. An abnormally high blood sugar level is its most common symptom, which causes a host of other health-related problems. Diabetes can lead to stroke and heart disease and even affect your vision through diabetic retinopathy. Treatment of the disease itself is the usual main course of action, but it’s not the only one.

Diabetic patients can see better by wearing glasses or contact lenses. Many of them are also interested in getting laser refractive surgery or LASIK. This treatment uses a special cutting laser to change the clear dome-shaped tissue at the cornea. Doing so should improve one’s vision by improving the refraction and focusing of light into the eye.

​​​​​​​People with diabetes can be a candidate for LASIK. But remember that some aspects of your diabetic health could affect your eligibility. Your health condition can make laser eye surgery safe and appropriate for you or exclude you from it. You must discuss it with our experienced eye doctor to know if you can get this type of surgery.

blood sugar

LASIK Eligibility Requirements (Diabetes or Not)

It helps to know the eligibility requirements for LASIK, diabetes, or not. One thing you should keep in mind is that even people without diabetes can be disqualified from getting this procedure. There are various basic requirements to be eligible, ensuring that LASIK will be an effective and safe procedure for you.

Some of the requirements are:

  • You should be at least 21 years old.
  • You’re not pregnant or nursing.
  • You have generally healthy eyes.
  • You have astigmatism, nearsightedness, and/or farsightedness.
  • Your glasses or contact lenses prescription is at a treatable range.
  • Your cornea’s measurements meet the basic requirements for surgery.
  • You have had a stable glasses or contact lenses prescription for the past couple of years.

Of these requirements, the cornea’s measurements are the things you cannot control. They will also help determine your LASIK eligibility, specifically the cornea’s thickness and curvature. You should get a LASIK surgery consultation with our qualified surgeon to know if your eyes meet the above requirements.

Factors That May Qualify a Diabetic for LASIK Eye Surgery

The above requirements are the basic requirements that apply to all potential LASIK patients. People with diabetes, however, have several other requirements to meet. In the past, LASIK wasn’t recommended for people with diabetes because doctors could not predict how well they would heal from the then relatively new procedure.

It’s now different, thanks to the procedure’s development over decades. It was found that if your diabetes is well-managed, you have excellent chances of healing well from laser eye surgery. On that note, you can be considered for LASIK if you can meet the following criteria:

  • You don’t have cataracts.
  • Your A1c is within your goal range.
  • You don’t have advanced glaucoma.
  • You have well-managed blood sugar levels.
  • You don’t have signs of diabetic retinopathy.
  • You don’t have a history of diabetic retinopathy.
  • You don’t have chronic high blood sugar levels.
  • You’ve been living with diabetes for at least a couple of years.
  • Your diabetes healthcare team agrees that the condition is well managed.

LASIK is an option for diabetic patients meeting the above criteria. If you have diabetes and want to find out if you are eligible for laser eye surgery, call Progressive Ophthalmology at (718) 565-2020 today.