Who Should Not Have Laser Eye Surgery?​

Laser eye surgery is a great alternative treatment for people with refractive errors i.e., myopia (near-sightedness), astigmatism, and farsightedness (hyperopia). If you wish to restore near-perfect sight and no longer need your glasses or contact lenses, consider booking a laser eye surgery consultation in the Greater Toronto Area.

Special services like LASIK Co-Management ensure you get assessed and understand if LASIK is the right corrective eye surgery procedure for you. The service also includes referral to a LASIK surgeon & clinic most convenient to you in the Toronto or Greater Toronto Area. What’s more, LASIK Co-Management also covers the collection and sending of patient data to the respective corrective surgery centre before treatment and routine post-operative examinations to evaluate the success and your healthy recovery.

However, laser eye surgery isn’t recommended for everyone. Let’s first understand the procedure and your eye health options to have a better sense of whether or not this is the right choice for you.  

What is LASIK?

LASIK (or Laser-assisted in situ Keratomileusis) is a type of laser eye surgery characterised by precise and controlled extraction and reshaping of corneal tissue using a special laser. The procedure aims to change the cornea’s shape and focusing power. This in turn treats vision conditions linked to refractive errors¹.

How Does the LASIK Procedure Work?

On the day of surgery, a patient may be given medication to relax. Some numbing drops are also placed in the eye to ease discomfort. During the procedure, the eye surgeon will use a cutting laser to make a small flap away from the front of a patient’s eye. They will then fold back the flap to access the part of the cornea that needs reshaping. The reshaping also happens using a programmed laser. After reshaping, the corneal flap is laid back into position to heal²

How Long Does Laser Eye Surgery Take?

Typical LASIK surgeries take a few minutes per eye, approximately 30 minutes or less for the entire procedure³.

LASIK Eye Surgery Pros and Cons

LASIK eye surgery is a great alternative to other treatments for refractive errors. However, the treatment comes with both pros and cons:

Main Pros of LASIK Eye Surgery

  • LASIK has a very high success rate with most patients achieving great vision (20/20) after surgery
  • The procedure is also quick and painless
  • LASIK offers permanent vision correction in most cases with no need for any further correction in the future. Follow up procedures may be covered or warrantied depending on the surgery centre you choose.
  • The procedure makes it possible to get the freedom without needing the use of glasses and/or contact lenses.

Main Cons of LASIK Eye Surgery

While laser eye surgery is a great alternative treatment for refractive errors, it also has some notable cons:

  • Probable complications like dry eyes, glare, under-correction, overcorrection, flap-related complications, slow vision regression, and loss of vision (although rare).
  • Not ideal for everyone, especially people with some eye diseases or conditions i.e., dry eyes, cornea disorders like corneal ectasia, or keratoconus.
  • High cost for the procedure and service

Who Should Not Have Laser Eye Surgery?

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery procedures like LASIK. Those who shouldn’t undergo laser eye surgery mainly include⁴:

  • People who have unstable vision, that is, those whose vision has changed in the last year. They shouldn’t undergo the treatment because the cornea is reshaped based on current prescription measurements. A prescription that keeps changing means the correction will be inaccurate.
  • People who have certain vision conditions such as dry eyes since laser eye surgery can disrupt tear production temporarily and make the condition worse.
  • People who have a thin or irregular cornea since the procedure involves removing some corneal tissue. A thin/irregular cornea will introduce structural integrity risks.
  • People who have an infection or ulcer in their cornea given that it will increase the risk of complications, and worsen corneal infections, or more serious complications.
  • People who are under the age of 18, since altering their eyes before they are fully developed introduces risks. A stable vision prescription is as important as ocular maturity.
  • People who have an autoimmune disease or people who have diabetes, since chronic and autoimmune diseases weaken the body’s immunity making one more susceptible to infections. The medical conditions can also trigger inflammatory responses affecting the healing process.

LASIK Eye Surgery Requirements

Before you can be a recipient of laser vision correction surgery, you need to be:

  • 18 years or older
  • Have a stable eye prescription
  • Have a condition treatable with laser eye surgery
  • Have corneas that are healthy and thick enough
  • Have generally good eye health
  • Have realistic expectations of what the treatment can do

Since there may be more requirements for treatment, we recommend you book a laser eye surgery consultation to get conclusive advice and a professional recommendation.


Besides defining LASIK and understanding who shouldn’t seek treatment, there are other important aspects of the treatment that patients are concerned about. Here are some frequently asked questions:

1. Is Laser Eye Surgery Worth It?

Absolutely! The benefits of surgery outweigh the cost. If you want an alternative to contact lenses and glasses and/or the freedom and convenience that comes with not having to wear such visual aids, the treatment is definitely worth it!

2. Can Laser Eye Surgery Correct Astigmatism?

Yes! The surgery can correct astigmatism and other eye conditions linked to refractive errors.

3. Is Laser Eye Surgery Painful?

No! The procedure is painless, meaning there’s no need for pain medicine. However, some medicines can be administered to relax a patient. Some numbing drops are also placed in the eye to ease possible discomfort during the procedure. There may be some discomfort and visual inconvenience during the healing process, but with proper care and rest, your eyes will be fine and ready to see clearly.

4. What Is the Age Limit for Laser Eye Treatment?

Ideally, one must be an adult (18 years) and above and have achieved ocular maturity as this reduces the risk of complications.

5. Is Laser Eye Surgery Permanent?

The majority of patients enjoy long term vision correction. However, it is possible to experience other vision problems linked to age-related eye changes such as presbyopia. Ask us to learn more. 

Final thoughts

Refractive laser surgery is a good solution for treating refractive errors today. The technology is always advancing. Procedures like LASIK boast of a very high success rate and fast healing times. However, there are some people who shouldn’t have laser surgical procedures i.e., those with unstable prescriptions, autoimmune diseases, thin corneas, etc.

Since there are many other factors that dictate a person’s suitability for laser eye surgery, it is advisable to book a consultation with an Optometrist to be thoroughly informed.

If you reside in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area, book a LASIK consultation at Kodak Lens Vision Centre and take advantage of many other services, including eye exams. Also if you still love your current vision correction solutions, you can order contact lenses online or visit us to check out our eyeglasses selection. Enjoy highly personalized eye care from experienced and trusted eye doctors.