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Is LASIK Worth It After 40?

Vision correction surgery has helped millions of individuals reduce or eliminate their reliance on glasses and contact lenses; but is LASIK after 40 a good idea? As with all things LASIK-related, the honest answer to that question is, “It depends.”

As we grow older, a natural decline in our eyesight becomes almost inevitable. LASIK is incredibly effective at correcting refractive errors, including myopia, astigmatism, and hyperopia, but it may not fully address the most common age-related vision problem, presbyopia (the need for reading glasses as we age). This does not, however, mean that LASIK after 40 will prove worthless. In fact, if you’re a good candidate, it can be positively life-enhancing, addressing issues both long-standing and new.

At 20/20 Institute, our Denver LASIK surgeons take the time necessary to fully evaluate patient candidacy. When LASIK can prove useful, we absolutely recommend it, but it is not the right procedure for every patient or every need. During your free LASIK consultation, we will listen thoroughly to your concerns and provide straightforward and honest answers about the best solution for your needs.

To schedule your free consultation at 20/20 Institute, please call 303-202-0669 today. We offer LASIK and other vision correction procedures to people living in and around the Metro Denver area from our offices in DTC, LoDo, and Westminster.

Common Vision Problems After the Age of 40

Vision issues become more common as we enter our 40s. Some issues can be delayed or avoided entirely through healthy lifestyle choices—like proper nutrition, not using tobacco products, and wearing sunglasses—but others are likely unavoidable.

Common age-related vision problems include:


Presbyopia is a condition where the eye’s lens becomes less flexible, making it challenging to focus on close-up objects. It typically begins to manifest symptoms in the early to mid-40s and continues to worsen until around age 65.

Symptoms of presbyopia include needing to hold reading materials at arm’s length, having difficulty with close-up work, or struggling to read small print, especially in dim lighting. Over time, reading glasses or bifocal lenses might become essential aids for those with presbyopia, even if LASIK surgery has been performed in the past.

If a patient is considering LASIK at age 40 or above; exploring a treatment technique called Monovision LASIK can allow patients to see at both distance and near without the need for eyeglasses in most cases. 

Decline in Night Vision

Another frequent age-related vision complaint is the deterioration of night vision. This can manifest as a need for more light to read or do close-up tasks, increased sensitivity to glare from oncoming headlights when driving at night, or reduced contrast sensitivity, making it harder to distinguish objects from their background in low light.

Any significant decrease in visual acuity at night should be brought to the immediate attention of your eye doctor. Diminished night vision can be a symptom of a more serious condition and may require medical intervention.

Dry Eyes

This condition arises when the eyes don’t produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. Symptoms of dry eyes can include a stinging or burning sensation, a feeling of something being stuck in the eyes, fluctuating vision, and increased sensitivity to light. Ironically, another symptom of excessive dryness is watery eyes.

In addition to these common concerns, aging brings with it several potential vision challenges—including those from glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts—which cannot be corrected through LASIK. This is one of the most pressing reasons to be careful in your selection of Denver LASIK surgeons who focus on the totality of your overall eye health.

With our experience, advanced technology, and unyielding commitment to quality care, we can help you determine if LASIK after 40—or another procedure entirely—will be the most effective option for your needs.

LASIK Can Help Improve Vision at Any Age (Even After 40)

LASIK reshapes the cornea, thereby improving vision and reducing—or even in some cases eliminating—the need for glasses or contact lenses. Its customization and efficacy have made LASIK a popular choice for vision correction across various age groups. But, what can and can’t LASIK after 40 do?

LASIK After 40 CAN Correct Age-Induced Myopia or Hyperopia

At any age, our eyes might undergo shifts in refractive errors, leading to nearsightedness (myopia), astigmatism, or farsightedness (hyperopia). LASIK is specifically designed to correct these refractive errors by precisely reshaping the corneal surface, allowing light entering the eye to focus directly on the retina and produce clearer vision.

LASIK After 40 CAN Minimize Dependence on Reading Glasses

With LASIK, especially the monovision technique, many individuals find that they can reduce their reliance on reading glasses. It is important to note, however, that LASIK after 40 may not entirely eliminate your reliance on reading glasses.

LASIK After 40 CAN Help You Maintain an Active Lifestyle

If you lead an active lifestyle, be it sports, travel, or outdoor activities, glasses or contacts can be restricting. By opting for LASIK, most likely you can engage in your favorite activities without the encumbrance of vision aids.

LASIK After 40 Can Not Cure Presbyopia. But…

Presbyopia is an unavoidable part of aging. LASIK is not designed to correct this condition. However, the LASIK procedure can be customized to plan for the changing needs of the eyes as they age.

With monovision LASIK, one eye is corrected for distance vision, while the other eye is corrected for near vision. This approach allows you to use one eye for tasks like reading a book, smartphone, tablet, or sewing and the other for activities that require distance vision like driving or watching TV. Over time, the brain learns to rely on the appropriate eye for different tasks, seamlessly merging the two visual inputs into a coherent whole. Our doctors can trial this technique during your comprehensive LASIK Evaluation to ensure your acceptance of this solution.

The 20/20 Institute in Denver offers solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of people over 40, ensuring that age does not become a barrier to clear vision. Our experience, dedication, and advanced technology allow ideal LASIK candidates to reclaim their vision and live with clarity and confidence.

Are You a Candidate for LASIK After 40?

Determining candidacy for LASIK isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. While age plays a role in the potential success of the surgery, other criteria must first be met to ensure the procedure’s safety and efficacy. These include:

  • Prescription Stability. To be a good candidate for LASIK, your eye prescription needs to be stable for at least one year
  • Healthy Eyes. Those suffering from conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, or corneal diseases are not suitable candidates for LASIK. 
  • Specific Corneal Thickness. LASIK involves reshaping the cornea to correct vision. Your cornea must be thick enough to safely undergo the procedure.

When determining candidacy for LASIK, we prioritize ethical safe patient treatment protocols. The 20/20 Institute has a distinctly patient-first approach. We are local, independent, and doctor-owned. Our eye surgeons care about every patient we see and are fully committed to providing the safest and most effective treatment for every patient’s needs.

LASIK is NOT the best procedure for everyone. With our unwavering commitment to patient well-being, we only recommend the procedure if we are confident it can help you achieve 20/20 vision or better. Our meticulous screening process is utilized for every single patient we care for in our center. This helps to ensure that only those who stand to benefit the most from LASIK are approved for the surgery.

If LASIK is not the right solution for your needs, we promise to share that assessment with you. We are happy to discuss LASIK alternatives that may help to address your specific age-related vision problems, even if we do not offer those vision correction solutions at 20/20 Institute.

Alternatives to LASIK in Denver

Vision correction surgery has seen groundbreaking advancements over the years. While LASIK is often the first procedure that comes to mind, it’s not the only vision correction surgery available. There are LASIK alternatives. One such alternative for patients 45 and under is the Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL), which can also address refractive errors and restore clear vision.

ICLs replace the eye’s natural lens with a biocompatible material called collamer. The new lens is inserted between the iris (the colored part of the eye) and the eye’s natural lens. Virtually invisible, once the lens is implanted, prior vision issues typically disappear. Though, like LASIK, ICLs cannot correct presbyopia.

Unlike LASIK, however, ICL placement is reversible. It’s also particularly beneficial for individuals with thin corneas or those with high levels of myopia (nearsightedness) that might be beyond the correctable range of LASIK.

20/20 Institute Can Help You Choose Between ICL and LASIK After 40

Both ICL and LASIK can provide clear vision for people over 40. They are, however, very different procedures. The best way to learn which one might be most beneficial for you is through a cost- and obligation-free consultation at 20/20 Institute.

Our Denver LASIK team is committed to providing genuine care and optimal outcomes for each patient we see. We understand that the world of vision correction can be overwhelming, so we speak clearly and honestly, guiding our patients toward decisions that will truly enhance their quality of life.

We’re not obsessed with maximizing our profits. We’re interested in providing the most effective vision correction solutions for each individual. We will take every care to ensure you have all the information you need to make the choice that aligns with your unique vision needs, lifestyle, and long-term goals.

In the sea of corporate LASIK chains in Denver, the 20/20 Institute stands apart. Local and independent, we are redefining patient experiences and outcomes. Driven by our ethical principles and focus on creating an environment that’s comfortable, transparent, and patient-centric.

Contact Us for a FREE LASIK Consultation Today

If you live in the Denver area and are curious to learn about your candidacy for LASIK after 40, contact 20/20 Institute online or by calling 303-202-0669 to schedule your free consultation today. We maintain three Metro-area offices. We welcome patients from Colorado Springs, Boulder, Fort Collins, and all nearby communities.

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