Is LASIK Permanent?

May 01, 2022
Is LASIK Permanent?
A quick and painless eye surgery called LASIK permanently alters your cornea to help you see better. But that doesn’t mean you’ll see better forever. Here’s why.

Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, better known as LASIK, is a surgical procedure that can drastically improve your vision — but for how long?

Here, our expert optometrist Dr. Sophia Barnes at Vision Corner in Houston, Texas, explains what you should know about LASIK and how long it lasts.

How LASIK works

During LASIK, your surgeon uses a special device that emits extremely small laser beams that reshape your cornea. Here’s why that’s important.

Your cornea is a transparent layer of tissue in the front of your eye. When light hits it, your cornea bends the light and directs it to your retina, at the back of your eye. If your cornea is malformed, the light doesn’t bend correctly and you don’t see well. Specifically, these refractive errors cause:

  • Farsightedness: You can see things far away, but they’re blurry up close
  • Nearsightedness: You can see clearly up close, but things far away look blurry
  • Astigmatism: You have a football-shaped cornea that causes blurriness at multiple distances

LASIK addresses all three of these vision problems so you no longer need the aid of eye glasses or contact lenses

How long does LASIK last?

The corrections made during the LASIK procedure last a lifetime, but that doesn’t mean your vision will remain perfect forever. There are two main factors that influence the effectiveness of your LASIK surgery.

Progression of the initial condition

Whether you choose LASIK to correct vision problems related to nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, LASIK surgery comes with no guarantee that the original condition won’t continue to progress.

Age-related eye changes

LASIK can’t stop the march of time, and as you age, your eyes experience predictable deterioration — a condition called presbyopia. The lenses become weaker and more rigid, so they can’t focus on nearby objects the way they used to. 

With these two variables in the mix, it’s difficult to say exactly how long your results will last, but overall findings are excellent. One study found that patients who underwent LASIK report high levels of satisfaction five years later, and another study found that following LASIK, many patients were still pleased with the results even 10 years after their procedure. 

The bottom line is that the longevity of your LASIK results depends on your age and your eyes. The good news is that if the blurriness returns, you may be able to undergo a LASIK enhancement, as long as you didn’t have too much tissue removed during the original procedure. 

Is LASIK right for you?

If you have one of the three vision conditions LASIK treats, you have a stable corrective lens prescription (meaning your eyesight isn’t changing drastically), and you have healthy eyes with thick corneas, you may be a good candidate for LASIK. Dr. Barnes lets you know for sure after a complete eye exam

Because LASIK comes with some risks and side effects, it’s best to talk to Dr. Barnes at length to determine whether the pros outweigh the cons. Rest assured that she works with the best local LASIK surgeons to manage your operation, and the Vision Corner team follows up to evaluate your vision.

To schedule a LASIK consultation with Dr. Barnes, contact us by calling 713-623-2000 today. You can also book your appointment online.