Is LASIK Permanent? | Dr. Edmiston Answers

August 9, 2022 | LASIK

Is LASIK Permanent?

In short, – Yes, but the there is a longer answer as well.  In LASIK, an excimer laser is used during the procedure to reshape the cornea. This reshaping may treat astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness, improving vision and removing the need for glasses and contact lenses. However, there are a lot of questions, or even concerns, patients have when deciding to undergo LASIK surgery for vision correction and what to expect from the surgery. How long does LASIK last? Is LASIK permanent? These are some of the most popular questions.


Does LASIK last forever?

Many patients want to know if LASIK eye surgery will get rid of their vision problems and their need for corrective lenses or contact lenses forever. There is not a definite yes or no answer to this question. Following LASIK eye surgery, the changes made to the cornea remain permanently. However, there is a very good chance that additional eye surgery, the most common one being cataract surgery, will be necessary later in life.  Cataracts are like wrinkles, an inevitable reality of celebrating enough birthdays! A cataract is the development of cloudiness of the native lens of the eye.  Due to sun exposure, aging changes, and many other factors, everyone will develop them eventually.

Less commonly, changes to the lens or other aspects of the eye can necessitate another LASIK procedure, called a LASIK enhancement, to improve the changes already made.  approximately 1-2 percent of LASIK eye surgery patients need a LASIK enhancement procedure within the first year. After that, these rates increase by around 1% per year.  If other medical conditions arise in your eye, you may also require a different procedure to address these.  Almost always, these other eye medical conditions arise independently of LASIK, as you age.

So, yes. LASIK does last forever. The procedure’s physical effects last a lifetime as it permanently reshapes the cornea.  The need for reading glasses, cataracts, and other age-related changes will also affect everyone as they become older.  Finally, it is a good idea to continue to get your eyes examined on a regular basis after LASIK in order to reduce the risk of untreated, usually age related eye diseases.

I need reading glasses.  Did my LASIK wear off?

The simple answer is no; adjustments made during LASIK surgery permanently change how the eye is shaped. The more complicated answer is a bit longer. A patient's eyesight may be affected in one way or another as they age as a result of both medical and age-related changes.

Everyone experiences presbyopia - the need for reading glasses or bifocals as they age.  When the internal lens of the eye loses its capacity to naturally focus up close, this transformation has taken place. Whether or not someone has had LASIK, this shift happens gradually. Additionally, the surgery is unable to stop an eye disease like glaucoma, macular degeneration, or cataracts from impairing vision.

As people approach their 40s and beyond, individuals with presbyopia and even early cataracts often discover that they must wear glasses for reading or driving at night. These patients can usually be treated with lens replacement, or in some cases, an enhancement LASIK surgery.

The future onset of cataracts is another factor to take into account when undergoing LASIK laser eye surgery. Many people will eventually develop cataracts, which may lead to double, foggy, or blurry vision, poor night vision, and picture distortion. Cataracts are neither brought on by laser vision correction (LASIK) nor is LASIK used to treat them. Cataract surgery will most likely be necessary even after LASIK surgery. Thankfully, LASIK surgery can many times be used to make cataract surgery results even better.



“I wish I’d done it sooner!”

The number one thing we hear from our patients is that they wish they’d had Vision Correction sooner.

So the question for you is… why wait any longer?

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