How Long Do the Results of LASIK Last?

For many adults, the task of maintaining clear vision over the years is a parade of prescriptions, eyeglasses, contacts and reading glasses. One of the appeals of LASIK is that almost all patients are able to end these constant corrections with one simple procedure that is designed to last a lifetime.

Here, experienced Monterey Park ophthalmologist Dr. Linda Vu provides useful recommendations you can use to time your LASIK surgery for the best possible results, ensuring you attain your goal of a life without lenses.

The Perfect Time to Stay Focused

Most patients with good eye health are good candidates for long-lasting LASIK. There is some debate about how young a prospective patient can be, but generally Dr. Vu recommends that an individual be at least 18, with vision that has not changed in the past two years. Younger persons whose prescriptions need to be updated regularly should wait until their vision stabilizes, for optimal results.

Many patients over 40 achieve similarly long-lasting results. Some patients who notice a slight regression at a later date, opt for a LASIK enhancement procedure, which is essentially a tweaking of the cornea’s shape to correct for any vision changes.

It should also be noted that with age you will develop presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) and will almost certainly need to rely on lenses for some activities, such as reading. For some patients, a modified form of LASIK called monovision LASIK can be performed to correct presbyopia; but not everyone is a suitable candidate for this procedure.

In the few cases in which nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism reappears years after a LASIK procedure, it will rarely be as extreme as it was before the surgery. A study published in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery found a correlation between age and permanence with LASIK. Patients were monitored over an 18-year period. When regression was noticed years after LASIK, it was much more pronounced in those over 40, and more common among women than men.

A similar study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology followed patients whose LASIK corrected for extreme myopia. Within 10 years of the initial procedure, just 6 percent opted for a LASIK enhancement to fine-tune their vision.

To learn more about planning a convenient LASIK procedure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Vu by calling (626) 382-2020 or contacting Linda Vision today.