How Long Does LASIK Last?

Published by Lance Kugler, MD on December 2, 2011

At Kugler Vision, a common question we hear is “does LASIK wear off?” The decision to explore the life changing benefits of LASIK eye surgery can often lead to an exacting weighing of pros and cons. One common misconception that is often relegated to the wrong list is the myth that LASIK effects eventually “wear off.” On the contrary, most patients enjoy the benefits of laser vision correction for a lifetime. In fact, only a small percentage of people (3-5% in our practice) require an enhancement surgery at some point after LASIK.

Does LASIK Wear Off?

Knowing the answer to the common question “does LASIK wear off”, can make it is easy for many patients to justify investing in a one-time surgery that will most likely change their lives forever. A study published in the Journal of Refractive Surgery followed patients over 12 years after having laser vision correction and found that “Almost 90% of eyes recalled for 12-year follow-up maintained or improved best corrected visual acuity.” ( Source: Journal Of Refractive Surgery 2006; 22:871-877, Ocular Surgery News; January1, 2007 p.34)

middle age woman in sun

Understand Your Vision Changes

Of course, LASIK does not magically stop the aging process. As the eye matures, reading glasses are needed after age 40, as they are in everyone regardless of whether they have had surgery. However, many only rely on eyeglasses for particular circumstances, such as reading fine print. In addition, if cataracts develop later on, it is important to consult with a surgeon that specializes in cataract surgery in LASIK patients.

Once you have LASIK surgery and attend your post-operative follow-up, you should be fine to resume your normal life without additional LASIK surgeries. Regardless, it is important to see your eye doctor at least once a year to ensure your eye remains healthy. LASIK does not protect the eye from UV damage or age-related eye conditions, but it does eliminate the burden of wearing contacts or eyeglasses for day-to-day tasks. While LASIK is not a preventative surgery, it often changes a patient’s life forever with an effective one-time surgery.

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