LASIK does not wear off, it’s a one-time procedure.
LASIK is an extraordinary procedure. As remarkable as it is, there are many myths surrounding this procedure and its long-term effect. One of the most common myths that float around the rumor mill is that LASIK eventually starts to “wear off” and you will have to undergo multiple procedures to maintain your perfect vision.
Well, we’re going to shake our heads to that one and say, “MYTH BUSTED!”
LASIK is a permanent surgical vision correction outpatient procedure that changes the shape of your cornea to fix your vision problem. Reshaping your cornea is in such a way is a permanent change and therefore, it does not “wear off”.
Whether you are near-sighted, far-sighted or have astigmatism, LASIK is the most commonly performed procedure for the surgical correction of refractive errors, bar none. Performed under a thin flap made on the surface of the eye (the cornea) LASIK is highly accurate, virtually painless, a ten-minute outpatient procedure with a short recovery period to normal activities. Most patients report seeing 20/20 or better the very next day. Now that’s not a myth!
Like the rest of our body, our eyes will age as well. When we reach our early 40s, our eyes experience natural changes in the crystalline lens located inside the eye – behind the iris. In normal healthy eyes before 40ish, the lens flexes and changes shape allowing us to see objects at near when flexed in one direction and at far when flexed in another direction. Think flexible gymnasts at age 15!
As we age, the lens gradually becomes more rigid and the flexibility it once had to help us see clearly at near is lost. The most noticeable effect of this lens becoming rigid is the loss of near vision in 40 and 50-year old’s who now have to use reading glasses to read small print or a menu in dim light. This loss of focus at near is not LASIK “wearing off” because remember, LASIK is performed on the surface of the eye, on the cornea. Rather, it is your lens inside of the eye aging with you. This hardening of the lens inside the eye is a condition called presbyopia which means “old sighted” and it affects everyone, regardless of a need for glasses in younger years.
Presbyopia is a form of dysfunctional lens syndrome (DLS) and is usually described as one of three stages.
Breaking down dysfunctional lens syndrome:
Stage #1: Early 40s – 50s
Here we begin to notice changes in our near vision. We start to have problems focusing on close objects, especially reading books or news reports, or reading a menu at a restaurant in dim light. This is the onset of presbyopia. Reading glasses are usually prescribed as a quick way to remedy the problem, but these do not correct the problem.
Good candidates for the surgical correction of presbyopia have great options today, such as corneal inlays or intraocular lens (IOL) surgery, commonly referred to as monovision. These procedures take only a few minutes are highly accurate, virtually painless, and performed as an outpatient procedure with a short recovery period. For people who want to be glasses free for most activities, talk to your eye doctor about your vision needs and expectations to see if corneal inlays or IOLs are the right option for you.
Stage #2: 50s to early 60s
Your night vision starts to take a hit and you’re aware of the “starbursts” on headlights in oncoming traffic. Your near vision continues to diminish and bright light is required for almost all reading materials. The flashlight on your cell phone is used regularly to read menus in restaurants. Again, reading glasses are usually prescribed as a quick way to remedy the problem; but these do not correct the problem.
Good candidates for the surgical correction of presbyopia at stage 2, also have great options. These include corneal inlays, intraocular lens (IOL) surgery and refractive lens exchange (RLE). These procedures, like LASIK, take only a few minutes, are highly accurate, virtually painless, performed as an outpatient procedure and have a short recovery period. For people who want to be glasses free for most activities, talk to your eye doctor about your vision need and expectations as corneal inlays, IOLs, and RLE are great options.
Stage #3: 65 onwards
The lens in your eye not only is rigid and hard, it becomes cloudy – gradually at first – adding “hazy” vision the problem. Your vision can diminish severely. The cloudier the lens is, the blurrier your vision becomes. This condition is known as a cataract.
Cataract surgery is a very popular, a commonly performed outpatient procedure and provides huge relief to people who have lost their vision due to the clouding of their lens. Like LASIK, a cataract procedure takes only a few minutes, is virtually painless and is performed as an outpatient procedure with a short recovery period. For people who want to be glasses free for most activities, talk to your eye doctor about your vision need and expectations. Cataract surgery is a great option