How Long Does LASIK Last?
For many people with eyesight problems, the appeal of laser eye surgery is that it allows them to cast aside their glasses, to see themselves and be seen by others naturally. Like other laser eye surgeries, LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is about freedom from the dictates of poor eyesight.
Understandably, those who consider LASIK often want to know how long their corrected vision will last for; it would hardly be worthwhile if the freedom from glasses and contacts was only fleeting, a glimpse of a life unencumbered. Luckily, for those who undergo the procedure, their improved eyesight remains for many years to come.
Exactly How Long?
It is impossible to put a precise timeline on how long post LASIK vision will last; there are too many variables, such as age and family history, which affect vision. Generally, however, your eyesight will remain extremely good for years after the surgery, usually into old age. But answering the question properly requires a more detailed look at what LASIK does and the factors that affect it.
LASIK is extremely successful at treating short-sightedness (myopia) and/or astigmatism. If you are short-sighted, laser eye surgery will allow you to have 20/20 or better long distance vision. Your sight will usually stay remain at this level into old age. As people age, however, they commonly develop certain eye conditions such as cataracts, which affect vision independently of any eye surgery. So while the laser surgery is still effective, it does not protect against other conditions.
Another condition that develops with age is far-sightedness (Hyperopia), the inability to focus on things that are close up. Though this can be treated somewhat through LASIK, it often becomes a factor later in life, which is often after the surgery has been performed. For those thinking about undergoing LASIK, it is important to realise that these conditions can occur regardless of eye surgery.
Is it worth it?
Undoubtedly. For almost everyone who undergoes LASIK eye surgery, the results speak for themselves. Patients are rewarded with decades of fantastic, crystal clear sight. Extremely few people ever have to undergo follow up surgeries to optimise results – it is one simple procedure for complete freedom from glasses and contacts.