How Long Does LASIK Last?
Will you look back decades from now and feel satisfied that you committed to the procedure? Or, will your vision regress in a year or two?
There’s a persistent myth that LASIK results are temporary. In reality, all evidence suggests that LASIK provides long-lasting visual improvement. However, there are a few considerations that you should be aware of.
What You Need to Know About the Longevity of LASIK
LASIK eye surgery is a safe and effective way to correct refractive vision errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. There are over 20 years of clinical studies to support this statement. The FDA-approved procedure works by permanently reshaping the cornea, which is the transparent tissue that covers the surface of the eye.
Evidence strongly indicates that LASIK corrects refractive errors for good. However, it’s impossible to say for sure if the outcome is permanent since the procedure is less than 30 years old. For that reason, there is no guarantee what your results will be in 50 or 60 years.
Don’t be discouraged. If you’re like most patients, you will enjoy clear vision for decades. Plus, it’s worth mentioning that long-term results tend to be best in patients who are thoroughly evaluated before the LASIK procedure to ensure that they are ideal candidates.
Additionally, the use of state-of-the-art technology can improve your outcome. Not all LASIK procedures are created equal. Some approaches, such as Wavefront Optimized® LASIK and Custom LASIK, allow for more accurate correction. To learn more about what you can expect from LASIK, schedule a consultation with an experienced laser vision correction surgeon.
Why Do Some People Need a LASIK Enhancement?
In some cases, you may experience mild changes in your eyesight. This shift typically happens over the span of decades and is often so subtle that you don’t notice it. It’s rare to experience a decline in vision significant enough to pursue a LASIK enhancement.
A LASIK enhancement is a follow-up LASIK procedure, much like the first, that is performed to improve your visual acuity. A LASIK re-treatment is a safe way to correct changes that may occur in the eye over time. Additionally, it can provide you with clearer vision if your first surgery didn’t produce the desired results.
Important Age-Related LASIK Considerations
Undergoing LASIK doesn’t mean that you will have crystal clear vision forever. That’s not to say that LASIK is ineffective or that the results are short-lived. It simply means that LASIK does not protect your eyes from the natural aging process.
Presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness, is the normal loss of close-up focusing ability. This issue is caused by changes that occur to the natural lens in your eye.
Most people tend to notice signs of presbyopia after age 40, when books, text messages, restaurant menus, and other nearby objects become difficult to see clearly. This vision problem will affect everyone at some point, even if you had LASIK when you were younger.
The idea of needing glasses again can be discouraging. However, there are surgical solutions that can restore clear vision. Options include monovision LASIK, where one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other for near vision, and the KAMRATM Inlay, an implantable ring that follows the same principle.
A cataract occurs when the clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy. This visual issue is common in older adults. The National Eye Institute states that more than half of all Americans have a cataract or have had cataract surgery by age 80.
A cataract can occur in one or both eyes. This build-up of protein can cause blurry vision, which gets worse over time as the cataract grows. If the vision loss starts to interfere with your daily activities, you can pursue cataract surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one.
Just because your eyes will likely experience a natural decline in vision later doesn’t mean that you should forgo LASIK. Most patients report that the procedure dramatically improved their quality of life. When you consider how much of a hassle glasses and contacts can be, it’s easy to see why.
How to Protect Your Eyes After LASIK
Naturally, you want to maintain your improved eyesight for as long as possible. There are a few steps that you can take, including:
· Attending your follow up appointments
· Following post-operative instructions
· Scheduling routine eye exams
· Wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection
Millions of people have undergone LASIK. The procedure has a high patient satisfaction rate, and the results are long-lasting.