How Long Does LASIK Last?

man with glasses looking at LASIK potiential

LASIK is one of the most popular and effective corrective eye surgeries available today. However, there is a common misconception regarding its longevity. While many patients experience long-lasting results, some may require retreatment a few years after the initial surgery. It is important to understand individual results vary.

Let’s explore the factors influencing LASIK longevity and proactive measures for maintaining post-LASIK vision.

Understanding LASIK

Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a surgical procedure for correcting vision problems/refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea. According to the American Refractive Surgery Council, over 90% of LASIK patients achieve 20/20 vision or better. Ninety-nine percent (99%) achieve better than 20/40 vision.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology considers you a good candidate for LASIK if:

  • You do not have a severe refractive error
  • You are over the age of 25
  • Your glasses/contacts prescription has not fluctuated
  • You do not have an unmanaged chronic illness
    • Diabetes 
    • Autoimmune disease 
    • Glaucoma
    • Ocular herpes

Recovery is speedy. Improved vision is typically noticed within hours or days. Temporary side effects like dry eyes, halos, or glare may occur but usually resolve over time.

Factors Influencing LASIK’s Longevity

In addition to initial medical considerations, several factors affect the long-term success of LASIK surgery:

  • Genetic Influence: This affects the sustainability of LASIK outcomes as some patients experience gradual vision regression over time.
  • Lifestyle Choices: Maintaining good eye hygiene, proper nutrition, and regular exercise help preserve good overall eye health. Good lifestyle choices support the longevity of the procedure’s effects.
  • Ongoing Eye Care: Eye care is essential for monitoring vision and catching potential issues early. Routine exams enable your eye care professional to assess the stability of post-LASIK vision and recommend necessary interventions.

Long-Term Vision Post-LASIK

Patient consultations should emphasize the fact that the range of factors mentioned above impact long-term effects. Contrary to a common myth, LASIK is not universally permanent for everyone. The fact is that while many will enjoy clear vision for years, others may need further treatments.

Proactive Measures for Prolonging LASIK Benefits

To prolong the benefits of LASIK, patients should take several proactive measures:

  • Eye Health: Avoid rubbing eyes, abstain from strenuous activities, follow doctor’s orders, and wear protective eyewear post-surgery to prevent disruption of the corneal flap created during surgery.
  • UV Protection: Ultraviolet light can cause discomfort and complications after LASIK surgery. Wear sunglasses with UV protection and avoid direct sunlight.
  • Blue Light Management: Limit exposure to the blue light emitted by electronics and digital devices to reduce eye strain. Taking breaks and using blue light filters can help.

Understanding the varying degrees of LASIK’s long-term effects and taking control of your eye care will allow you to enjoy great vision for many years. Prioritize eye health and make informed choices about LASIK and post-LASIK care to optimize vision clarity.

Achieving clear vision is just at your fingertips. To learn more about LASIK surgery, contact The Eye Center, with locations in Huntsville and Madison, at 256-705-3937 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.