Monthly Archives: April 2016

Is LASIK Permanent?

Selective focus on a Snellen eye testing chart. Very high resolution 3D render.

Selective focus on a Snellen eye testing chart. Very high resolution 3D render.

Many of my patients ask me: Is LASIK permanent? How long will it last? Will I have to wear glasses again at some point in my life?

In short: yes, LASIK is permanent, yes, it lasts and yes, you will likely have to wear reading glasses when you hit your mid-forties.

LASIK is a surgical procedure which uses computer guided lasers to permanently correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The prescription you come in with is the prescription we correct.

How long it lasts requires more explanation. Like all living things, your eyes may change.  But to put this in perspective, when using the most advanced LASIK technologies, fewer than 2 percent of LASIK patients require a touch up treatment within the first year.  Each year following the procedure adds another percentage point, so by 10 years post LASIK, approximately 10 percent of patients require an enhancement procedure.

While there is a popular misconception that LASIK patients can sometimes regress, in fact, what is more likely occurring is their visual prescription (myopia or hyperopia) actually progresses.  Again, this occurs in a very small percentage of people choosing to have LASIK.  A couple of important points about this:

  • During your consult we place a lot of emphasis on the stability of your vision– meaning your prescription hasn’t changed in more than a year. This is to ensure your LASIK treatment is sustainable.
  • Importantly, even if your eyes do change, your vision will never go back to being as bad as they were prior to your procedure.

Will I need glasses ever again? The answer is that most people will need to wear reading glasses – or explore an additional vision correction option – once they reach their mid-forties and develop the age-related presbyopia. Is it more likely that a patient becomes presbyopic – meaning they need reading glasses to see things up close as a result of aging – than their nearsightedness or farsightedness progressing. LASIK does not stop your eyes from changing or aging.  It also doesn’t affect a patient’s ability to choose other vision correction treatment options for age-related conditions including presbyopia and cataracts.

Because myths and misperceptions persist on the internet and every individual is different, it’s important you talk to your surgeon about your unique vision.  Where you go for accurate information about your vision correction procedure choices matters.  In addition to what you find here at Long Island LASIK, we also recommend visit the American Refractive Surgery Council here to get a very thorough overview of LASIK and other vision correction surgeries.

 

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Dealing With your Fears about Eye Surgery

ARSC-Is-LASIK-Safe-Blog-ImageIf you are reading our blog, in all likelihood you have thought about, and perhaps even seriously considering, having eye surgery to correct your vision and wondered, is it safe? Eyes hold a certain fascination for people – they certainly do for me. They are sacred organs that help us experience life and the world we live in.  They are part of our primary warning system for perceiving danger.  It is because we rely on them so much that we are extremely protective…some even squeamishly so…about our eyes.  And in thinking actually having eye surgery, you become anywhere from mildly concerned to wildly panicked about it. And guess what? It’s completely normal.

 

While it may sound trite, the best way to face your fear is with information. I’m here to answer all your questions and talk through your concerns. Why? Because I have complete faith and confidence in LASIK. It is an incredibly valuable procedure that compiles some of the most sophisticated and impressive modern technologies into a simply elegant procedure that has safely benefitted millions of people.

 

LASIK is a procedure I perform to help people. If it weren’t safe, I wouldn’t perform it. In fact, much of the technology housed in the LASIK platform is designed for safety. For example:

  • During your LASIK consultation, you may have been wondering about all of the different machines you had to look into to obtain some measurement of your eye and vision. The data obtained during those diagnostic analyses results not only in detailed information about your eye but also a high definition map of your eye – data that I then program into the LASIK platform to design your personalized vision correction treatment.
  • The laser is driven by a computer with your personal treatment plan, customizing the LASIK procedure to your anatomy and vision. The result is an extremely precise vision correction and precision is a hallmark of safety.
  • Interestingly, today’s LASIK leverages tracking technology first developed by NASA to help dock satellites to the Space Shuttle. This powerful instrument monitors your eye movements thousands of times per second with two important safety features being the result:
  1. The sophisticated tracking allows the device to adjust the laser as needed to ensure the accurate application of the treatment;
  2. If your eyes move during the procedure the laser moves with your eye, and if you more significantly (such as a cough or sneeze) the laser will temporarily turn off.

 

LASIK has been around for nearly 20 years and has achieved an unprecedented level of popularity based upon its safety and performance. It is one of the most studied elective medical procedures. Research shows that more than 96 percent of LASIK patients are satisfied with the vision provided by their procedure.  This high rate of patient satisfaction with LASIK is due in part to the very low risk of complications from the surgery – a result of the procedure’s impressive safety profile.

 

I encourage you to find out all you can about LASIK. While there is a lot of information here on our site, you can find more information about LASIK safety from a variety of trusted resources, including the American Refractive Surgery Council.

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