Is LASIK permanent? Our eye doctors hear this question often at Atlanta Vision Laser and Cataract Center. The short answer is yes because the cornea is permanently reshaped. However, your eye (like the rest of your body) continues to change as you get older, altering your vision.
In your early 40s, you will start to notice a decrease in your near vision. Menus, text messages and fine print will become blurry. This loss of close-up vision is called presbyopia and happens to everyone as they age. Your cornea works with your eye’s lens (found behind the iris or pigmented part of the eye) to focus light on the retina for clear, crisp eyesight. The aging process causes your eye’s natural lens to stiffen or harden, making it challenging to accommodate sharp vision at all focal points. Presbyopia is the reason older adults need reading glasses.
Some LASIK patients think their results are “wearing off” or regressing when presbyopia sets in when it’s actually a natural part of life. Cataracts are another condition that affects most people in their golden years and happens when proteins inside the eye’s lens clump together, causing a cloudy appearance and vision disturbances.
LASIK eye surgery reshapes the cornea and does not involve the lens. These changes to your eye’s lens are unavoidable and separate from LASIK.
The Cornea is Permanently Reshaped but May Still Change
LASIK corrects the curvature of your cornea to give you excellent eyesight. The procedure addresses nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. The imperfections that cause refractive errors are gone after LASIK. However, your eyes may continue to change over the course of your life. This is why we wait until your prescription is stable for one to two years to ensure maximum vision correction.
While myopia and hyperopia may progress, they will not revert to the poor vision you experienced before LASIK.
Is LASIK Worth It If I Need Glasses Again?
Some people wonder if LASIK is the best route for their eyesight if they will need reading glasses in the future. Research published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery found that patients’ satisfaction rate and quality of life were high five years after LASIK — 94 percent of those patients reported they did not need prescription lenses.
A small number of patients (1 to 2 percent) may need enhancement or retreatment after their initial LASIK procedure. This typically occurs in the first year, and the possibility increases if your prescription is not stable before the eye surgery.
LASIK not only gives you a better quality of life, but you will save on many vision-related expenses in the coming years, such as contact lenses.
Schedule Your LASIK Consultation in Atlanta
If you are tired of contact lenses or prescription eyeglasses, contact Atlanta Vision Laser and Cataract Center to schedule your LASIK consultation with Dr. Leonard Achiron or Dr. David O’Day by calling (404) 765-2020.