We get this question a lot here at Broberg Eye Care. The answer is, while the effects of LASIK surgery are permanent, it’s possible for some patients to see decreasing benefits over time. More on that in a bit. First, let’s define what LASIK is and who may be a good candidate for this procedure.
LASIK, a type of refractive surgery, utilizes a laser to treat a variety of vision problems caused by certain refractive errors, which is when the eye does not bend, or refract, light properly, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In order to see correctly, light rays must travel through the cornea and lens, which then refract the light so it hits the retina. The retina, in turn, converts that light into signals that tell your brain to make images.
When refractive errors are present, the shape of the cornea or lens prevents light from bending properly, leading to blurry vision. During a LASIK procedure, your ophthalmologist will use a laser to change your cornea’s shape and improve how light rays focus on the retina. It can be used to treat specific vision problems such as myopia (AKA nearsightedness), hyperopia (AKA farsightedness), and astigmatism.
People get LASIK eye surgery for many reasons, not the least of which is to not have to hassle with eyeglasses or contact lenses in part or altogether.
LASIK surgery has a success rate of between 96 and 98 percent, and between 20 and 25 million pairs of eyes have undergone these vision treatments since they were created back in 1989.
Does it Last Forever?
As stated above, the effects of LASIK are permanent, but the benefits can decrease over the years. For most patients, the benefits of LASIK will remain the same over their lifetime, but for about 10 percent of the population, enhancement surgery is necessary down the line due to anatomical changes to their eyes.
Many people want to know if LASIK will allow them to ditch the glasses and contacts forever. Again, most people will be able to, but for some, the use of these vision correction supplements may become necessary later on. Just like with any part of your body, your eyes change as you age. LASIK can’t promise you that won’t happen because no one can predict the future.
A recent study revealed that 94% of patients did not need prescription lenses five years after having LASIK surgery.
Many factors may play into your chances of needing glasses again sometime down the road. One of those factors is how old you were when you had this laser vision correction procedure.
Bottom line is, LASIK will permanently correct the vision prescription (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) that you entered the office to correct. Once the imperfections are removed by laser, you won’t need the use of contacts of glasses ever again, or at least for several years. It’s important to note that although your vision can change over your lifetime, it won’t become as bad as it was before you had LASIK, says the Refractive Surgery Council.
Who is a Good Candidate For LASIK?
Not everyone will be an ideal candidate for this procedure. Generally, you qualify if you:
- Have a consistent glasses or contacts prescription
- Have a mild case of moderate hyperopia, myopia, or astigmatism
- Are over the age of 18
- Have good overall ocular health, absent of bacterial infection, dryness, or high intraocular pressure
- Have the ability to heal well after surgery and after undergoing anesthesia
- Are not pregnant or nursing (that’s because hormonal shifts can change eye shape)
- Have small- to average-sized pupils (those with large pupils are more vulnerable to experiencing light sensitivity with LASIK)
- Have a sufficiently thick cornea for the procedure (this is because your surgeon must modify this area of your eye to correct vision)
LASIK is one of the most popular refractive error surgeries because it provides a large amount of benefits for many patients, including:
- Clearer vision with less or no need for glasses or contact lenses
- Short treatment time (the procedure lasts about 10 minutes and can be done in the office)
- Quick recovery (most patients notice an improvement in their vision and can return to work within a couple of days)
- Improved self-esteem
- The ability to engage in more recreational and professional activities without being hindered by visual aids
- Minimal discomfort during and after surgery
- The cost of LASIK surgery is more than offset by the need to pay for glasses, contact lenses, and cleaning solutions over a lifetime.
Book a LASIK Consultation With Broberg Eye Care
Curious to learn more about LASIK and if you would be a good candidate for this procedure? Just schedule an appointment and we would be happy to provide a full eye exam. After that, we can better understand if you qualify for LASIK and how it can help you. Give us a call today at 512-447-6096 to book your consultation. Our hours are Monday through Friday, with a convenient location at 4207 James Casey St #305 in Austin, TX.