If you’ve struggled with impaired sight, you have more than likely heard of LASIK. LASIK stands for “Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis,” and is a procedure that can help those who experience sight problems such as blurry vision.
Due to this procedure often resulting in a patient no longer needing corrective lenses of any kind, LASIK may seem too good to be true. Those considering taking this step may begin to wonder how long LASIK can really last.
The answer can be complex, as it depends on the extent of your vision issues, your age, and how quickly your eyesight is deteriorating.
We’ve created this guide so that you can find out all about this revolutionary treatment and the impacts it can have on your vision.
The Value of LASIK
Around 12 million Americans suffer from vision impairments, so you’re not suffering from your condition alone. This is why LASIK was developed. The treatment is designed to help those who have eyesight problems live a higher quality of life.
LASIK is mainly used to treat the following conditions:
- Nearsightedness (myopia): This condition is also known as shortsightedness. If someone has this condition, they will easily see things that are close to them. However, objects that are far away will be blurry and out of focus.
- Farsightedness (hyperopia): If a person is farsighted, the items close to them will seem blurry, while objects farther away will be clearer.
- Astigmatism: Astigmatism is caused by an imperfection in the frontal shape of your eye. In simple terms, your eye is shaped more like a football than a basketball, which can lead to blurry vision.
The answer to how long LASIK can last mainly depends on which of these conditions you’re suffering from, and how quickly it’s getting worse.
If your eyesight is deteriorating quickly, you won’t experience the benefits of the surgery for nearly as long. This is because the surgery corrects the problem in its current state. If your eyes change rapidly, the results become less impactful.
Why People Get LASIK
There are many reasons why someone may want to correct their vision. Here, we’ve listed some of the most common motivations:
Better Quality of Life
Many people find that needing glasses can be a major inconvenience. There’s nothing more annoying than breaking or losing your glasses right before a major trip or fun activity, setting you back on time and reducing your enjoyment if you’re not able to see clearly.
LASIK can significantly improve people’s quality of day-to-day life—particularly if your job makes it hard to wear vision-correcting equipment. With so many types of glasses for so many different needs, it can be a stressful experience managing these issues. Many people find that LASIK surgery removes this stress.
Some people find that LASIK can help them manage money better, as it’s a one-time payment rather than paying for glasses or contact lenses over time. In fact, for some people, the procedure can actually help them to save money.
The average cost of a pair of eyeglasses is $231. If you need glasses for different activities — for example, prescription sunglasses and swimming goggles —you may face an eyewear bill that becomes exponential. This is in tandem with changing prescriptions, needing replacements, and decisions to make aesthetic changes such as frames. LASIK can help to reduce the cost of vision correction by offering a one-time solution.
Enjoy More Activities
For those who love an adventurous lifestyle, LASIK can be a great option. No need to worry about contact lenses or glasses. You’ll be free to enjoy lens-threatening activities like white water rafting or skydiving without any issues.
Most Common Results of LASIK Surgery
Most people find that LASIK surgery causes a significant improvement in their vision. This often means that they do not have to wear glasses or contact lenses after the procedure.
It’s common to have some discomfort immediately after surgery, but the recovery time is relatively short. Overall, most people find that the surgery is very beneficial to their eyesight—a capable surgeon may be able to restore your eyesight close to (if not fully) 20/20.
Common Duration of Results
LASIK is a technically permanent procedure, so the results of the surgery are not supposed to wear off. However, the answer to how long LASIK lasts depends on your age and the speed of your eye deterioration. Typically, LASIK lasts about 10 years before natural deterioration in eyesight (as comes with age) may cause an altered dependency on corrective lenses. However, these results can vary widely depending on each patient’s unique scenario.
While LASIK produces results for several types of impaired vision, the most success seems to come from cases of nearsightedness over farsightedness. This is due to how the procedure itself works. As it changes the shape of the cornea, surgeons are generally more equipped to flatten a steep surface over building up a flat cornea.
Patients experiencing nearsightedness may see longer results in their distance vision—up to 20 years in some cases.
Most people’s eyes are constantly changing, which can mean their vision problems get worse over time. LASIK can only fix the issues that have already occurred — it can not stop your eyes from changing.
Will People Need LASIK Again or Need Glasses Later in Life?
If your eyes are changing at a rapid rate, you may need additional laser surgery or corrective lenses down the road. However, LASIK will provide long-term improvements in your vision.
Unfortunately, nearly all patients lose their near vision sometime over the age of 40. This is called presbyopia. Lasik does not prevent this, and reading glasses may be required later in life.
Possible Issues with Results
LASIK is a very safe procedure, but as with any surgery, issues can occur. Some of the most common issues include:
- Infection: Any intrusive surgery carries a small risk of infection. However, LASIK specialists work to minimize these risks and ensure a speedy recovery.
- Over or under-correction: Sometimes, a surgeon will accidentally alter a patient’s eyes too greatly (or not enough). As a result, the patient may not have perfect vision at the end of the procedure.
- Astigmatism: If the tissue is not removed evenly, it can cause the eyeball to be an irregular shape.
- Dry eye syndrome: Sometimes, the surgery can cause your eyes to not produce enough tears, leading to dryness and discomfort.
While complications are within the realm of possibility, it’s very unlikely that you will experience significant vision loss. Nearly all minor risks associated with LASIK are treatable, resulting in a positive post-operative outcome.
Although these issues may seem scary, they are very rare. A good LASIK specialist will take you through all of your options and explain the process in more detail.
Is It Still Worth Getting The Surgery?
Now that you know the answer to “how long does LASIK last?” and other facts about this surgery, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth it. Although the results may not be permanent for some patients, the procedure can offer long-term improvement to your vision.
Schedule an appointment with us today to learn if you are a good candidate for LASIK.