How Long Do the Results of LASIK Last?
Dr. Eric Donnenfeld, our sought-after LASIK surgeon in Long Island, is frequently asked how long the results of LASIK typically last. Before making the investment in laser vision correction, prospective candidates want an idea of whether the effects tend to wear off over time. Dr. Donnenfeld is happy to inform these patients and his blog readers that the results of LASIK are not only life changing but also long lasting.
LASIK Permanently Corrects Refractive Errors
LASIK permanently reshapes the cornea to treat the refractive error causing nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. A laser is used to remove microscopic bits of corneal tissue to improve its curvature and the way it bends or refracts light entering the eye.
Once the laser has reshaped the corneal tissue, the imperfections causing the refractive error are gone and cannot come back. The eyes can change over time, but vision should not regress to its pre-treatment state.
In rare cases where vision changes significantly over time or the original LASIK procedure was unsatisfactory, patients may need a LASIK enhancement. The rate of LASIK enhancements is very small. About 1 to 2 percent of patients need enhancement in the first year after LASIK; this number increases by 1 percent every year after that. Ten years after LASIK, a patient has a 10 percent chance of needing an enhancement.
LASIK enhancements are more common in patients whose vision is not stable prior to vision correction (i.e., frequently changing vision prescription). This is why LASIK candidates are asked about their vision prescription during the consultative phase, and why LASIK surgeons prefer patients to have a stable prescription for at least six months prior to surgery.
LASIK Does Not Prevent Age-Related Changes to the Eye
It is important to realize that having LASIK does not prevent age-related changes to the eye: specifically, presbyopia or cataracts. These visual conditions affect the lens, which is not touched during LASIK.
However, as Dr. Donnenfeld pointed out in his last blog post, patients that have had LASIK can safely undergo cataract surgery and presbyopia correction later in life.
Learn More about LASIK
If you have additional questions about laser vision correction with LASIK, Dr. Donnenfeld welcomes you to call or email our practice. He would be happy to sit down with you in consultation and discuss your treatment options in more detail.