LASIK is a type of refractive eye surgery used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. LASIK works by reshaping the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, in order to allow light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina, resulting in clearer vision.
The LASIK procedure involves the use of a laser to permanently reshape the cornea. Before the surgery, the surgeon will numb the eye and then create a protective flap in the cornea. The laser is then used to precisely remove a certain amount of corneal tissue based on the patient’s prescription. The protective flap is then repositioned over the cornea and the cornea is given time to heal. The entire procedure typically takes less than a few minutes per eye and patients typically experience improved vision within 24 hours of the procedure.
After LASIK surgery, patients can expect improved vision, although it may be slightly blurry for the first day or two during the initial recovery period. The eye may also be slightly dry, itchy, and light sensitive for a few days after the procedure. Most patients report significant improvement in their vision within the first week following surgery, and the majority achieve 20/20 vision or better.
The longevity of LASIK results can vary based on a number of factors, including the patient’s age, the prescription, and overall eye health. On average, LASIK results can last for several years, but in some cases, they may need to be maintained with touch-up procedures or glasses/contacts in the future.
It is important for LASIK patients to have follow-up appointments with their surgeon to monitor their progress and ensure the best possible outcomes. Regular eye exams are also recommended to detect any changes in the patient’s vision and address any issues promptly.
The most common factors that may cause LASIK results to degrade over time include the natural aging process, which can cause the eyes to lose focus and require glasses or contacts, and other health conditions that can affect the eyes, such as cataracts or glaucoma. Additionally, certain lifestyles and habits, such as reading in dim light or prolonged computer use, can contribute to the degradation of LASIK results over time.
There are several things that patients will want to do after LASIK to help maintain their high visual fidelity.
Although rare, touch-up LASIK procedures, also known as “enhancement” or “boost” procedures, may be necessary if the patient experiences changes in their vision over time. Touch-up procedures can be performed to further refine the patient’s vision and achieve their desired visual outcome.
There are several options available for touch-up LASIK procedures, including:
PRK/LASEK: This procedure involves removing the outermost layer of the cornea and reshaping it to correct vision. PRK is often used as a touch-up option for patients who have already undergone LASIK.
Re-LASIK: Re-LASIK is a touch-up procedure that involves creating a new corneal flap and reshaping the cornea to correct vision.
The type of touch-up procedure recommended will depend on the individual’s specific needs and the surgeon’s professional recommendation. The patient’s prescription, the thickness of their cornea, and the health of their eyes will all be considered when deciding on the best touch-up option.
It’s important to note that touch-up procedures are not always necessary and that the longevity of LASIK results can vary based on a number of factors, including the patient’s age and overall eye health. Regular eye exams and monitoring by a professional can help detect any changes in vision and address any issues promptly.
LASIK is one of the best options for those who wish to improve their eyesight. Most patients also find that improved vision will last for several years. At some point, the aging process will make additional corrections difficult. However, those who do LASIK early enough may experience years of improved quality of vision and life. Reducing the number and severity of adverse events is also possible by using best practices for maintenance and attending all follow-up appointments.
If you’re considering LASIK, please set up your free consultation today. Not ready to commit to a consultation just yet? Schedule a 15-minute phone call with a LASIK coordinator to find out if LASIK, PRK or SMILE is right for you.
David Lemieux, BA from Oakland University is a LASIK expert and marketing professional that has worked with Dr. Dan Haddad and the Laser Eye Institute since 2017. David believes in education and cutting through the noise to deliver facts and opinions about LASIK, SMILE, and all things Laser Vision Correction.