A common query that our patients have is whether they will need a repeat procedure in the future. In the vast majority of cases, laser eye surgery is a permanent vision correction option for patients. Your eyes will be reshaped by the laser, correcting your vision so that you’ll be able to stop relying on glasses or contacts to correct your myopia or hyperopia.
However, with age, your eyes may change and you may experience other vision problems. While the changes made by laser eye surgery are permanent, LASIK and other forms of laser eye surgery will not prevent these age-related changes from occurring. Here’s a quick overview of the results you can expect from the surgery and the vision problems that some individuals may experience as they age.
Permanently corrected vision
One of the benefits of laser eye surgery (including LASIK) is its permanence. Once the procedure takes place, the effects of laser eye surgery – reshaping the cornea to correct long- or short-sightedness – will usually last for life. Whether you have myopia (commonly known as near-sightedness and short-sightedness) or hyperopia (also known as hypermetropia and far-sightedness), following laser eye surgery, your corrected vision will allow you to read, drive and live your life without the aid of glasses or contact lenses. The procedure, which can take as little as 20 minutes, will provide a lasting correction to your eye prescription.
There is a small degree of risk in all surgical procedures, including LASIK and other forms of laser eye surgery. In a very small number of cases, the corneal flap may not be fashioned completely during surgery. If this rare complication occurs, laser eye surgery can be repeated after 2 or 3 months, when the resulting vision correction should, this time round, be permanent.
It should be stressed that this is a rare occurrence. As long as there are no complications, there will be no need for a patient to undergo repeat laser eye surgery.
It’s normal for everyone to experience visual problems as they age – whether or not they have undergone laser eye surgery. Typically when we reach our late 40s, our eyes change and many experience presbyopia (reading vision problems). It may be necessary to wear reading glasses for close work such as typing on the computer or reading a book.
For some patients, cataracts can form as they get older, which can result in prescription and vision changes. The visual problems caused by cataracts can be treated with cataract surgery, a simple procedure that takes around half an hour.
Laser eye surgery: a lasting solution
While it’s not possible to treat future visual problems with laser eye surgery, procedures like LASIK provide patients with a permanent correction to their eye prescription. The effects of laser eye surgery last for ever, permanently adjusting the shape of your eyes so as to enable them to focus light correctly. If you’re weighing up the pros and cons of undergoing surgery, one of the very significant benefits to consider is how long laser eye surgery lasts.