How Long Does LASIK Last?

You might have heard that LASIK only lasts ten years, so why bother? This information is actually a myth; LASIK permanently corrects your vision. But your vision can change for other reasons over time, due to myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism (blurry vision). LASIK can only fix vision problems that existed before the procedure, not after the fact.


How long LASIK lasts will depend on your age when you have LASIK and whether your eye condition progresses. Research has found that in 12 years, around 10 percent of LASIK patients experience age-related vision changes. So, there’s no guarantee that your LASIK will last a lifetime, but the odds are in your favour.

Reasons Your Vision Can Change

There are three main reasons your vision can change:

 

  • Myopia (nearsightedness) is a common vision condition when you can see objects ‘near’ to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry. It occurs when the shape of your eye causes light rays to bend incorrectly, which is called a refractive error. Your eye doesn’t focus light properly on the retina.

 

  • Hyperopia (farsightedness): when you can see objects ‘far’ from you clearly, but not objects close-up. Hyperopia is also a refractive error, where the distance between the cornea and the retina is too short.

 

  • Astigmatism (blurry vision): a widespread vision condition where you have blurred or distorted vision at near and far distances. Astigmatism is caused by an irregular curvature of the eye’s cornea or lens.

The Normal Aging Process of Presbyopia

Another big reason your vision can change is due to the normal aging process, which is called presbyopia. This occurs when your eyes slowly lose the ability to see things clearly up close and typically occurs after age 40.

 

Presbyopia develops when our eyes’ natural lens loses flexibility and focusing up close becomes more difficult. When you are young, your natural lens is soft and easily changes shape, which lets you focus on objects near and far. After age 40, the lens becomes more rigid and can’t change shape as easily as before. This change in lens makes it harder to read and do other up-close tasks.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way to stop or reverse this normal aging process. No one can escape the ravages of time and old age. Perhaps one day, we can treat presbyopia with magical eye drops.

Occurrence of LASIK Enhancements

A LASIK enhancement is a follow-up procedure that might be performed if your results are unsatisfactory or if your vision changes significantly over time. Rest assured, the enhancement rate is 1-2 percent in the first 12 months and around 1 percent a year after that. Fortunately, most surgeons perform these enhancements at no additional cost to their patients.

If you have more questions or concerns about how long LASIK lasts and whether you are a good candidate, schedule a free consultation with corneal surgeon Dr. Mark Fava.