How Long Does LASIK Last?

by Lance Kugler, MD

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.

kugler vision doctor lance kugler

Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in LASIK and vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an Associate Professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.

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