The chart below can be used as a rough guide as to how your age and your prescription may effect your choice of surgery. Hyperopia is the correct term for Long-Sighted and Myopia is the correct term for Short Sighted.

Please follow the headings on the left to find out more about your refractive error and how to read and understand your prescription. Please note - This table does not take into account astigmatism.  Up to five dioptres of astigmatism may be treated with Laser Vision Correction, but you will need to discuss this with your surgeon. Both phakic lenses and lens exchange can be used to treat higher astigmatism if laser is not appropriate.   

Description  Age Lasik Lasek Phakic lens Clear Lens Replacement
 Very young <21 ? see note a ? see note a No No
Young  21 to 40 Yes Yes Yes No
The new young 40 to 60 Yes Yes ? see note b Yes
Not that young >60 ? see note c ? See note c No Yes
  Refraction Lasik Lasek Phakic Lens Lens Exchange
Very High Hyperopia +8.00 No No Yes <40 Yes
 High Hyperopia +6.00 ? see note d ? see note d ? see note d Yes 
 Moderate Hyperopia +4.00 ? see note d ? see note d   ? see note d Yes >40
 Low Hyperopia +2.00  Yes  Yes  N/A  Yes >40
 Lucky 0.00  N/A  N/A  N/A N/A
 Low Myopia -2.00  Yes  Yes  N/A Yes >40 
 Moderate Myopia -4.00  Yes  Yes  N/A Yes >40
 Mod-High Myopia -6.00  Yes  Yes  N/A Yes >40 
 High Myopia -8.00  Yes  Yes  N/A Yes >40 
 Very High Myopia -10.00 ? see note d ? see note d  Yes<40 Yes 
 Extreme Myopia -12.00  No  No  Yes<40 Yes

 Notes -
a) Whilst laser eye surgery can be performed under the age of 21 most surgeons prefer to wait until this age to allow the eyes refractive error to stabilise.
b) Phakic intra ocular lenses are generally only for patients who are unable to be treated by laser eye surgery; usually because their prescription is too high. The main benefit of a Phakic Intra Ocular Lens is that younger people retain their natural lens which has the ability to change its shape to focus on close objects. In middle age, the lens within your eye begins to lose this flexibility and certainly by the age of 50 it has virtually no ability to alter its shape to focus close to. So for the over 40's one has to wonder if a Phakic Intra Ocular lens is appropriate, Refractive Lens Exchange, with its long term stability becomes a better option.
c) Laser eye surgery is suitable for all ages. However, as the eye ages the Crystalline lens within the eye can alter its shape, it can become discoloured, and can eventually develop a cataract. So, the results of Laser Eye Surgery may not be as stable for as long as it would be in the younger eye. Refractive Lens Exchange is certainly worth considering as it will be stable long term, you will not be able to develop a cataract (and will therefore not need cataract surgery in old age), and the discoloured lens is replaced with a clear and crisp lens implant.
d) High levels of refractive error are more difficult to treat predictably by Laser Eye Surgery. Many factors need to be taken into account including your exact prescription, your age, the thickness of your cornea, and also your visual expectations. Phakic Lens Implant or Refractive Lens Exchange remain as options for patients who are unable to proceed with Laser Eye Surgery.