Are the Effects of LASIK Permanent?
Do you rely on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly? If so, you aren’t alone. Statistics from the Vision Council of America show that as many as 75% of Americans use some form of prescription eyewear, with the vast majority of choosing eye glasses.
While both glasses and contact lenses are extremely effective in improving visual acuity, people who wear them often feel that they negatively impact their day to day life, including affecting:
- their appearance
- their routine
- their ability to participate in certain activities such as swimming or contact sports
- their bank balance
Fortunately, there is an alternative that eliminates the compromises that prescription eyewear can require a patient to make – LASIK laser eye surgery.
What is LASIK?
LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is the single most popular type of laser vision correction surgery in the world. It is classified as a refractive surgery, since it aims to improve the vision of patients with refractive eye errors who rely on corrective eyewear.
There are four types of refractive eye problems. These are:
- Myopia aka near-sightedness. People with myopia have good near vision but poor distance vision.
- Hyperopia aka far-sightedness. Unsurprisingly, this is the opposite of myopia. People with hyperopia have good distance vision and poor near vision.
- Astigmatism. Astigmatism refers to a condition where the cornea is shaped like a football rather than a soccer ball.
- Presbyopia. This is an age-related condition in which the eye loses its natural ability to focus on nearby objects clearly.
Refractive eye problems occur due to an error in the way that the light entering the eye is focused by the retina. It is normally caused by the cornea, which is the natural lens of the eye, not being perfectly symmetrical. Instead of refracting the light directly onto the retina, the cornea instead focuses it in front of or behind the retina, causing a message to be sent to our brain to say that the image is blurred.
LASIK laser eye surgery works by reshaping the cornea in such a way that the light is properly focused on the retina - as a result, the messages sent to the brain via the optic nerve from the retina depict a clear image. The entire process is mapped out using cutting edge technology which ensures that the procedure is carried out with unrivaled accuracy and precision.
Does LASIK hurt?
Before your LASIK procedure you will be provided with anesthetic eye drops. These will ensure that you will not be in any pain for the duration of your laser eye surgery. After the surgery is complete, your eyes may feel sore, but this usually resolves itself a few days into the healing process.
What is the prognosis for my vision after LASIK?
The vast majority of LASIK patients find that their eyesight has improved dramatically after their treatment. In fact, according to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, 96% of patients manage to achieve 20/20 vision or better. Even those patients who may still require prescription eyewear agree that they are considerably less reliant on their glasses or contact lenses.
Are the effects of LASIK permanent?
One of the most common questions we get asked is whether or not the effects of LASIK are permanent.
The surgery itself does cause a permanent change to the physical shape of the cornea. However, the natural effects of aging mean that patients are not guaranteed to experience this degree of improved vision forever.
As we get older, physiological changes occur, one of which is that we lose elasticity of the lens of the eyes, making it impossible to maintain a clear image as objects are moved closer. This is presbyopia as listed above. The changes in our vision caused by presbyopia mean that even after LASIK, our eyesight may deteriorate somewhat. However, further vision correction surgery may be possible if the patient feels that they would like to consider this option. Dr. Ahdoot will be happy to talk this through with you.
If you have further questions about LASIK, Dr. Ahdoot and the knowledgeable and experienced team here at Progressive Ophthalmology are on hand to supply the information that you need to make informed decisions about your vision. Please do not hesitate to contact our office today to schedule an appointment at 718-565-2020.