Is LASIK Permanent?

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Many of our refractive surgery patients wonder whether a LASIK laser vision correction procedure is permanent when determining whether to have it done. Does LASIK last forever? The short answer is yes. The results of LASIK eye surgery are long-lasting and can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. However, for individuals who wish to view life clearly and be free from contact lenses or glasses for the long term, we do need to dig into it in greater detail. Chu Vision Institute’s specialists are delighted to answer all of your questions and assist you in determining whether LASIK laser eye surgery is the best method for correcting your vision. Call our office today to request an appointment for your diagnostic consultation.

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Does LASIK last a lifetime?

The physical alterations to the cornea made by LASIK eye surgery are permanent. So in this regard, LASIK is permanent. However, if your initial surgery doesn’t produce the better vision, you want or your eye changes drastically due to another medical condition, such as cataracts, you may still require a follow-up enhancement procedure or cataract surgery.

Only 1 to 2 percent of individuals need LASIK enhancement surgery in the first year after having the procedure. After that, the rate rises by about 1% annually, so after five years, roughly 5% of patients would need an enhancement to retain or further improve their excellent vision.

It is important to have a stable glasses or contact lens prescription for a period of time prior to having LASIK surgery. This minimizes the need for an enhancement in the future. Prior to approving surgery, our doctors identify which patients are candidates for laser vision correction by performing a thorough diagnostic eye exam. The expert team at Chu Vision Institute has performed hundreds of LASIK procedures and helped patients achieve long-term freedom from corrective lenses.

How many years does LASIK last?

There is no set number of years that LASIK surgery will correct vision. For many, the effects of LASIK surgery last a lifetime; for others, 20 years, or some may require a LASIK enhancement after 10 years. The operation’s long-term effects are dependent on a number of variables, including the patient’s age at the time of the procedure, certain medical conditions, and also eye conditions that may arise as one matures.

To put it simply, LASIK could potentially last 20 years or longer. LASIK is renowned for its longevity. However, there is nothing that can stop the normal changes that occur to the eyes over time. Only vision issues that existed prior to LASIK can be corrected, not issues that developed afterward. Therefore, LASIK can correct vision and provide patients with 20/20 vision or even superior visual acuity, but it cannot stop the aging process of the eyes. Your LASIK surgeon, Dr. Chu, will discuss your unique situation and answer any questions you may have about how long the benefits of LASIK will last for you.

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Can I get LASIK again after 10 years?

Yes, in a nutshell. However, LASIK delivers long-lasting vision repair, and only a small percentage of patients need a second procedure. And although it is not formally recognized as a lifetime surgery, many patients do have improved vision that does last that long.

Dr. Chu sitting behind the LASIK LaserThough rare, some people need to get LASIK again, particularly if the initial procedure did not completely or accurately correct the refractive problems. The success of the second surgery, however, is dependent on a number of variables, including the age, present health, and medical history, as well as the structural status of the eyes.

Alternately, aging-related changes to the eye may require a second LASIK treatment. This doesn’t mean that something went wrong the first time, of course. As the years pass and we age, refractive errors may get worse, or you can develop new ones. Contact Chu Vision Institute if you have any questions or would like to discuss your choices.

Can your vision decline after LASIK?

Understanding how LASIK works, what vision regression is, and how the human eye naturally ages helps one better appreciate the risk of vision regression after the procedure. You might find it simpler to accurately imagine the potential advantages and disadvantages of life after LASIK with the help of this information.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, LASIK, also known as laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is an outpatient refractive procedure that can be used to cure astigmatism, nearsightedness, and far-sightedness. In this treatment, an ophthalmologist carefully removes the required amount of corneal tissue using an excimer laser, thus reshaping the cornea. This permanently alters the cornea’s curvature, enhancing the eye’s capacity to direct light toward the retina and enhancing visual clarity.

The standard definition of regression is ‘a return to a previous state.’ According to that definition, eyesight regression following LASIK surgery is a myth. By removing tissue from the cornea during LASIK, the eye is permanently altered. Technically speaking, the eye does not regress in the strictest meaning of the word because it is unlikely to return to its prior level of dysfunction. That does not imply that after the treatment, you won’t experience vision changes.

Although scientists may have a very specific idea of what regression actually entails, the majority of people worried about the risk of vision regression after LASIK are not anxious that their vision will exactly revert to what it was before the treatment. They are actually worried that their vision would get worse with time. This is possible due to a few factors.

There are a few common reasons why it can appear that LASIK’s improvements to vision are regressing:

  • The progression of nearsightedness or farsightedness. Even though LASIK corrects current nearsightedness or farsightedness, it cannot stop its progression. If your eyes are prone to these issues, they might continue to develop, which could ultimately lead to less-than-ideal vision.
  • The onset of presbyopia. As with many other body parts, the eyes undergo aging-related changes. The ability of the eye’s lens to concentrate on nearby objects typically starts to deteriorate as people reach their 40s. Presbyopia is what this process is known as, and LASIK does not stop the passage of time to stop it. However, LASIK does not cause the condition’s onset or exacerbate its symptoms.

Do you still need to wear glasses after LASIK?

Depending on your age, current prescription, and family history of eyeglass wear, the answer to this question will vary, although the vast majority of LASIK patients do not require glasses following the treatment.

Age

Man reading newspaperYour eye muscles naturally lose part of their suppleness and strength as you get older, which causes your ability to focus on close things to gradually deteriorate. Age-related farsightedness, or presbyopia, is a very common and natural feature of aging and is frequently treated successfully with reading glasses or a customized LASIK procedure called monovision.

Presbyopia will not develop in those under the age of 40 who get LASIK; thus, they won’t require reading glasses for close work. You should be able to see effectively up close without reading glasses following laser vision correction due to your young age.

If you are over 40, unless you had monovision LASIK surgery, you will probably need reading glasses to correct presbyopia. Even if you previously underwent LASIK and had exceptional near vision without the need for reading glasses, near vision will inevitably continue to deteriorate with age. Unless you need to see tiny objects clearly that are held very close to your eyes, you won’t require these reading glasses all the time, especially early on in this aging process.

Presbyopia brought on by aging is common and easily treated. Schedule an appointment with our eye care professionals at Chu Vision Institute now to learn how we may help you manage your age-related presbyopia after LASIK.

Your EYEGLASS Prescription Before LASIK

The mismatch between the thickness of your cornea and the length of your actual eye is what causes blurred vision. By removing a minute quantity of corneal tissue in a highly specialized pattern, LASIK can restore or create the ideal shape for your individual eye to improve vision.

You are likely a suitable candidate for LASIK if you have a lower prescription (i.e., your vision is not excessively blurry without corrective lenses) and a consistent prescription for around a year.

You may be more likely to have a minor residual prescription after your LASIK procedure if you had a specific prescription before the procedure (such as very high astigmatism or farsightedness), which can be treated with much thinner glasses, contacts with a much lower power, or another LASIK procedure. Myopia can often be treated by LASIK, making distant objects sharper. Regardless of the specific prescription you had before LASIK, it is likely that you will require glasses to see up close when you reach a certain age (often between 40 and 50) unless you have a specialized type of LASIK surgery created expressly for delivering both near and distant vision.

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Family History

Although having poor eyesight in your family does not guarantee that you will have it as well, it can raise the risk that you will require glasses after having LASIK.

Even if there is a history of vision issues in your family, after LASIK, your vision will be better and sharper than it was before. Your vision may get less clear as you age, which is normal, given your unique family history. The aim of LASIK surgery is to completely correct your prescription at the time of the procedure, not to slow down or reverse the aging process of the eye.

In most circumstances, you won’t require distance glasses to achieve clear vision after having LASIK. If you had not undergone LASIK surgery, you would have required reading glasses at about the same age that you do now. How long does LASIK last is one of many questions the refractive surgery experts at Chu Vision Insitute would love to answer for you. To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery, call our office today to schedule your initial consultation.

Dr. Ralph Chu LASIK surgeon Minneapolis Ophthalmologists

Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu is a fellowship-trained corneal specialist and a nationally recognized leader in refractive and cataract procedures. His specialty areas include cataract, LASIK, cornea, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries for patients in the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Twin Cities areas.

Posted on December 8, 2022

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