How Many Years Does LASIK Last?
LASIK, Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, is a corrective surgery to treat all types of refractive eye problems including nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and blurred vision (astigmatism). LASIK is considered a safe and effective elective procedure that uses an excimer laser to achieve 20/20 vison. When a patient undergoes a LASIK procedure, a tiny blade, called a microkeratome, creates a small, superficial flap in the cornea. The microscopic cuts help to reshape the cornea causing light to refract differently than before, improving vision. As these surgical cuts are lasting changes to the cornea, LASIK is meant to improve vision permanently and the cornea is expected to remain stable long term.
In general, LASIK results last an average of 20 years. However due to age, eyesight can potentially worse over time. LASIK corrects vision and has the ability to give patients better visual acuity, but it cannot prevent natural ocular degeneration. The cornea is corrected during LASIK but the lens continues to age. According to the American Refractive Surgery Council, approximately 10% of patients may need enhancement surgery 10 years after LASIK. This occurrence is rare though with less than 2% of patients requiring an enhancement within the first year. The same issues that needed correction via LASIK, nearsightedness, farsightedness and stigmatism may develop again after LASIK. In addition, certain eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts cannot be corrected or treated by LASIK surgery but may affect vision, requiring post LASIK patients the need for prescription reading glasses or contact lenses.
A recent study in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery of patient-reported data concluded quality-of-life and satisfaction rates remained high 5 years after LASIK. The study also reported more than 94% of patients stated they were not wearing distance prescription lenses 5 years after having LASIK. For answers to more questions like “how many years does LASIK last?’ as well as the permanency or quality of other eye or vision correction procedures, schedule an appointment with Kalamazoo Ophthalmology at 269-329-5860 or WEBSITE. Our eye care professionals will provide you with a quality examination to help you improve your vision.