How Long Does LASIK Last?
LASIK can last a lifetime, 20 years, or 10 years. The lasting effects of the procedure depend upon multiple factors, including the age of the patient at the time of the procedure and medical conditions that one may develop as one ages that may affect eyesight. Read on to better understand the factors that affect the longevity of the LASIK procedure. We want to answer your question “how long does LASIK last?” thoroughly.
LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. This refractive surgery reshapes the cornea with an excimer laser. LASIK is not a preventative procedure. Rather, it is corrective surgery. While LASIK can correct the eyes, it cannot prevent future vision degeneration that is common with younger patients, as the eyes continue to change as one ages. While LASIK can correct things such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, LASIK, for example, cannot prevent cataracts. However, cataract surgery is a separate option available to those who suffer from this ailment.
Does LASIK Eye Surgery Hold Up Past 20 Years?
In short, LASIK has the potential to last 20 years and beyond. LASIK is known for its permanence. However, nothing can prevent natural changes that the eyes go through throughout one’s lifetime. LASIK can only fix vision problems that existed before the procedure, not after. So while LASIK corrects vision and has the ability to give patients 20/20 vision or even better visual acuity, it cannot prevent natural ocular degeneration.
Is Laser Vision Correction Permanent?
LASIK is permanent in that it cannot be reversed. When one undergoes LASIK, microscopic cuts are made to the cornea that causes light to refract differently, thus improving the patient’s vision. However, as the eyes age, there is potential for one’s eyesight to worsen over time. There is a procedure called LASIK enhancement that acts as a followup enhancement procedure for those who have undergone LASIK and have experienced degenerated vision. This procedure ensures that even if the patient’s eyesight worsens, corrections can be made to get back to clear sight. According to Dr. Parkhurst of the American Refractive Surgery Council, approximately ten percent of patients may need enhancement surgery 10 years after LASIK.
What Factors Affect Vision After the LASIK Procedure?
According to Allaboutvision.com, researchers in the UK observed patients with the same glasses prescription both below and over the age of 40 during an 18-year period following the LASIK procedure. The research found that eyesight regression was much slower for those over 40 (-0.05 D) compared to those younger than 40 (-0.54 D). So, the age at which the procedure is done does have an impact on the longevity of results.
It is possible for astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness to return after LASIK. Other medical problems such as glaucoma can affect one’s vision. Unfortunately, LASIK cannot prevent or treat glaucoma. It is important to note that even after LASIK, you may still need to use reading glasses at times. However, you should be able to see perfectly clear without the need for contact lenses or glasses.