How Long Does LASIK Last?
If you have impaired vision, you might look to glasses or contact lenses to help correct it. LASIK is an outpatient procedure that can diminish or even eliminate the need for glasses or contacts altogether. If you are looking into LASIK as a vision correction alternative, here’s some information about what LASIK entails, what to expect, and how long the benefits of LASIK can be expected to last.
What Is LASIK?
LASIK (laser-assisted situ keratomileusis) is a laser refractive surgery that may correct blurred vision in patients who have nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism. During the procedure, surgeons use a special cutting laser to reshape the cornea to improve vision. The procedure is painless, only lasts a few minutes, and you will stay awake throughout, with a local anesthetic.
After LASIK surgery, you may experience burning or itching. Remember to avoid touching or rubbing your eyes right after your surgery, and to let your eyes rest for several hours. Popular singer Taylor Swift said that she could “see very well” after her LASIK procedure — as seen when she starred on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Your vision may fluctuate in the months following surgery, and it may take up to six months for it to stabilize. As your eyes heal, you can expect multiple follow-up appointments right after the surgery, in these intervals:
- One Day
- Two to Four Weeks
- Three Months
What to Expect After One Year
Your last LASIK follow-up appointment occurs one year after surgery. Here, your doctor can examine your eye health, and you can report any vision issues you may experience. Patients normally do not experience a decline in vision within the first year.
What to Expect After Five Years
Five years after LASIK surgery, 91% of patients were still happy with their vision. About 95% still opted not to wear glasses or contacts. While patients are usually satisfied five years after LASIK, there is still a chance of slight vision regression.
What to Expect After Ten Years
There is more of a chance for vision regression 10 years after LASIK surgery. If this is the case, LASIK enhancement may be advised.
When Will the Effects of LASIK Go Away?
The changes LASIK makes to your cornea are permanent. However, age can still bring natural changes in vision, making your vision blurry over time. Other eye changes or conditions may also cause blurry vision after LASIK, including:
- Retinal detachment
- Dry eye syndrome
A little more than 10% of patients require a second LASIK surgery. However, there are still ways to keep your eyes healthy after LASIK. Consider these steps to avoid any further vision impairment or complications:
- Avoid eye strain
- Wear sunglasses
- Stop smoking
- Use lubricating eye drops
- Take vitamins to help age-related eye disease
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get regular eye exams
If you experience severe pain or develop any new or unusual symptoms such as redness or discharge from the eye, contact your doctor. Remember to continue regular LASIK check-ups after your surgery, and pay attention to your eye health and vision in years to come.
Are you considering LASIK surgery? Allow our team to help. Our leading eye surgeons have performed more than 100,000 vision restoration surgeries. Find out about our LASIK procedure by requesting an appointment online or by calling (404) 351-2220.