How Long Does LASIK Last?
In a recent FDA study More than 95% of participants were satisfied with their vision following LASIK surgery.
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People often have a preconceived notion about the longevity of LASIK surgery, and how long it lasts. Some mistakenly believe the surgery will only effectively correct vision for a few years. This is not true.
LASIK permanently corrects your current vision prescription. Your surgeon uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea with controlled precision, removing imperfections that will correct vision problems such as, astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia), or farsightedness (hyperopia).
Reasons for Misconceptions
If LASIK is truly permanent, why are there contrasting beliefs? According to Dr. Parkhurst, the reality of age related changes in eyesight is to blame. LASIK corrects vision problems at the time of surgery. This is the main reason your surgeon wants to make sure your prescription is stable. Just as your prescription changed slightly in the past, you should expect future changes as your eyes change with age.
Future Vision Changes
How long does LASIK last as you age? Gradually, with age, the lens inside your eye becomes thicker, less pliable, and occurs regardless of prior LASIK surgery. Consequently, you might begin to experience symptoms of presbyopia, which include:
- Eyestrain, or headaches
- Holding books out to focus clearly
- Difficulty reading, or seeing other close-up work.
Ordinarily, these symptoms are easily corrected with nonprescription reading glasses, or glasses that might include bifocal, or trifocal prescriptions from your ophthalmologist.
Surgical options include:
- Monovision LASIK
- Refractive lens exchange
- KAMRA Inlays
- Multifocal LASIK
Of course, all surgical options should be discussed in depth with your LASIK professional.
LASIK enhancement, or touch-up is a follow-up LASIK procedure to correct significant vision changes over time. Patients who undergo enhancement experience an outstanding success rate of maintaining or restoring their exceptional vision. The enhancement rate is one to two percent within the first year, then about one percent per year after that as a patient’s eyesight changes over time. Considerations for enhancement include:
- Patient age
- Optical dominance
- Predictability rate
- Patient expectations
- Quality of previous surgery
Patients will expect a thorough evaluation to ensure they are still a good candidate for the procedure.
Enhancement policies vary by surgeon. Some may offer these services free of charge within the first year, then charge for future enhancements.
In conclusion, answering the question, “how long does LASIK last?”, LASIK is a permanent method to reshape the cornea correcting astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. LASIK is the way to improve enjoyment of life for many people by eliminating the need for glasses and contacts.
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- American Refractive Surgery Council, May 13, 2016, (Article), https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/how-long-does-lasik-last/
- LASIK.com, July 19, 2013, (Article), http://www.lasik.com/articles/presbyopia/
- Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today, October 2013, (Article), http://crstoday.com/articles/2013-oct/when-and-how-to-perform-lasik-and-prk-enhancements/