Does LASIK Surgery Last For A Lifetime?

To understand Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis or LASIK, the first thing that we need to remember is that it is a corrective procedure. It cannot prevent any visual degeneration.

The procedure itself can correct several visual abnormalities.

Some of them are:

  • myopia or nearsightedness
  • hyperopia or farsightedness
  • astigmatism- a visual disturbance caused by an irregularly shaped cornea.

LASIK uses a laser to carve the cornea and reform it into a shape that corrects visual errors. It cannot, however, correct cataracts and glaucoma.

We got all of those cleared out of the way. Let us discuss the prognostication of the surgery.

Does It Last Forever?

The quickest answer to this question is YES. The procedure can last for a long time, even for a lifetime. However, just like any other surgery, this depends on several factors. 

Some procedures can go from 10 years to 20 years, if not forever. As stated before, it is a corrective surgery rather than a preventive technique. It means that it cannot save you from any future damage that might occur to your eyes.

Much like any other part of your body, the cornea of your eye can suffer from age-associated degeneration. These damages can inflict additional remodelling of your corneal shape and modify your corrected cornea. Doctors may recommend enhancement surgery to ensure that the patient’s clear vision comes back.

Intervening Factors

Several factors can affect the longevity of the procedure. Overall, an interaction of these factors will modify the time your vision remains repaired.

First of all, is age. Generally, experts recommend getting the surgical procedure in your mid-20s. It is the age that is associated with the best outcomes from the technique. The eyes are still healthy and can hold the shape resulting from the surgery. As you grow older, it becomes harder for you to recover. However, surgery remains an option for the elderly. People aged 40 and older may still require using corrective lenses or glasses even after undergoing the procedure.

Second is the existence of other eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. All of the three diseases mentioned cannot improve with laser. Other surgical options are available for them. Discuss them with your doctor. 

The third and last is the state of your eye years following the surgery. As stated before, the procedure is corrective. Post-procedure, there are still plenty of things that can affect your eye. The condition you subject yourself to can cause it to acquire damage and go back to its blurry condition.

PRK Or LASIK: Which To Choose?

With technological advancement comes the improvement of modern medicine. Since time immemorial, we meet surgical developments with enthusiasm. Safer techniques with less cost are always the highlight.

Stunning blue eye with an abstract Security Retina Scanner attached – great detail in the eye!

In the field of Ophthalmology, visual corrective techniques focused on the application of lasers to correct errors. Some of these errors are nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. There is a certain level of convenience in abandoning your glasses and having a 20/20 vision once more.

Nowadays, we compare two laser-assisted techniques. They are photorefractive keratectomy and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. 

The Difference Between the Two

To know the difference between PRK and LASIK, we need to compare the procedural write up of the two. Doctors use them to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

The surgeon removes the top layer of the cornea for the photorefractive method. Afterward, he uses an excimer laser to correct the inner layers. A contact lens-like special bandage is applied over the cornea to help the tissues heal.

For LASIK, the surgeon creates a flap on the top layer of the cornea. The surgeon opens the flap rather than removes it like in the photorefractive method. The surgeon also uses an excimer laser to carve up the cornea and correct errors.

Analysis: Which of the two?

Both photorefractive techniques and LASIK can permanently correct vision. The difference mainly lies in the cost and patient recovery.

PRK takes a long time to recover, with a recovery time of 30 days. It also requires changing bandages and is quite expensive. However, photoreactive techniques have a high success rate. There’s a low chance of complication because the surgeon does not create a flap during surgery.

LASIK, on the other hand, has a 4-day recovery period. No bandages are also needed, and the success rate is also high. However, with the creation of the flap comes complications. There is a higher chance of dry eye and poor night vision. There is also a high chance of eye injury.

Overall, reviewing the prospects of both surgical procedures for permanent correction of eyesight is essential before undergoing them. You should also consider if your insurance company includes them in their list of claims.

There are several criteria for eligibility for the surgery. Generally, they consider only those who are 18 years old and above. Other things to be considered are your prescription, pregnancy, and average pupil size in a dark room. They also look into allergic history, eye conditions like glaucoma or macular degeneration, and autoimmune diseases.