When people are considering a LASIK procedure, one of the most common questions they have is how long the procedure will last. That doesn’t mean the amount of time the surgery is expected to take, but they want to know how long the procedure will work to correct their vision. Even though the surgery only lasts about 30 minutes, the corrective procedure should last you a lifetime.
How the Surgery Corrects Vision
If you are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism, a LASIK procedure can help correct your vision. Most people can give up their glasses after the surgery and it may be able to correct your vision to 20/20 again. The procedure corrects your vision because the doctor reshapes the cornea in your eye, which leads to the vision correction.
Additional Corrective Treatments
The procedure is permanent, but some people may need additional treatment for their eyes, especially if they have trouble seeing clearly to read. LASIK does not eliminate the need for reading glasses, especially as people age. A procedure known as monovision is available that allows people to read with the material close-up to their face or at a short distance.
Patients who may be considering this procedure can test it by wearing monovision contacts. While some people may like it and opt to get the procedure, some people don’t like it and opt to not have it. Many of the people who don’t like it may need to keep wearing reading glasses when they read a book or watch a film with subtitles.
Reasons for Additional Treatment
A few years after you have a LASIK procedure, your vision can change slightly and you may need to have a follow-up procedure. As people age, their vision usually changes, even after LASIK surgery. If your vision changes and you need to have an enhancement, the cost may be covered under the provider’s enhancement policy. It is wise to check on that policy while you are considering the initial procedure.
Another common reason for follow-up treatments is hormonal changes, especially those due to pregnancy. A pregnant woman’s hormonal changes can affect the eyes, so women who are trying to get pregnant or who are planning to do so may wish to wait to have a LASIK procedure until later in their lives.
Most LASIK procedures will last the patient a lifetime with no need for additional treatments, even in a patient’s later years.