How Long Does LASIK Last?
The Truth Explained: How Long Does LASIK Last?
We recently had a 57-year-old patient who had lasik 27 years ago. She was still seeing great at distance. Does everyone get these same results? It reminded me…
With so many new apps, streaming services, restaurants, and sports changing these days, it’s easy to ask, ‘What actually lasts forever’? While out to dinner with a few friends, one of them looked at me right before ordering our drinks and asked ‘What about your LASIK!? How long does LASIK last? Is LASIK eye surgery worth it?’. Not such random questions, actually. Many people wonder how long the life changing vision procedure lasts and the answer is quite simple; it’s permanent!
Let me explain.
How Does LASIK Work?
LASIK surgery, also known as Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, was approved by the FDA in 2009. It involves the doctor using a laser to make a small window opening on the front surface of your cornea. This part of your eye is like the wind shield of a car- it’s what protects the rest of your eye. Once the doctor has made this small opening on your cornea, they will then use another laser (called an excimer laser) to reshape and remold your cornea. This will allow light to enter your eyes and hit the retina in the back of your eye with a straight point, rather than scattering light and causing images to be blurry near and far.
What Does LASIK Treat?
Many patients think they aren’t a candidate for LASIK because they have astigmatism. Good news! LASIK works great for astigmatism. LASIK is used to help treat common vision problems like:
- Nearsightedness (Myopia)
- Farsightedness (Hyperopia)
How long does LASIK eye surgery last?
Some people believe that LASIK is designed to be temporary, but this is a myth! The aging process of our natural lens (which is the same size and shape as a plain m&m) is made up of the same collagen that our fingernails and hair are made of. Over time, this collagen will start to break down and will eventually result in cataracts later in life, making your vision more dull and cloudy. Many people mistake this event for ‘laser vision wearing off’. LASIK does not wear off, as it is designed to be permanent & lasts forever.
LASIK is a life changing procedure that can free you from the hassle of glasses and contact lenses- and it’s permanent!
Will I Need LASIK Enhancement?
According to a 10 year study by Yuen et al, out of 37,932 eyes that had LASIK, only 3.8% of patients needed some type of enhancement after their laser procedure. This means 96.2% of people never needed a laser enhancement out to 10 years. A laser enhancement can be needed when the eye over or under responds to the laser treatment. The authors in the study suggest that enhancements can be minimized with the use of a nomogram. So definitely ask your surgeon if they are using a nomogram and how they maximize the longevity of your procedure.
Is LASIK Worth It?
I can say with 100% confidence that my refractive procedure, LASIK, was worth it. With everything that’s changing in the world, I am happy to say my LASIK is still just as great as the day I got it. Shoot, I can’t even get my 3 favorite drinks at Starbucks any longer because their menu has changed. So, yes, to say I’m happy that my LASIK hasn’t changed, I mean it. It’s worth it.
LASIK Eye Surgery Cost
When patients are considering laser eye surgery, like LASIK, cost is often a first question. However, many studies show that many people end up spending more money in the long-term on eye glasses and contacts. Think about all the things you need when it comes to the everyday maintenance of your eye wear:
- A back up pair of eye glasses for your primary pair
- Contact solution
- Contact cases
- Contacts (months’ supply worth, if not longer)
- Cleaning solution for your glasses
- Anti-fog spray for your glasses
- Prescription sunglasses
- Microfiber cloth
- Glasses case
If you are in the San Antonio area and considering LASIK, give our office a call at (210) 585-2020 or contact us here! Our experienced team would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Be sure to talk to one of our doctors about not only the benefits of LASIK, but also any risks of LASIK that may pertain to your individual needs and circumstances.