Are the Effects of LASIK Permanent?
Are you one of the estimated 75% of adults¹ that have problems with your eyesight? If so, then you are probably all too aware of the inconveniences that come with poor vision.
From forgetting to take eye glasses with you when you go out, to having to put up with poor vision, because you cannot wear your glasses in the pool or other activities, having less than perfect vision can be frustrating at times.
Fortunately, modern technology has revolutionized a huge number of industries over the last few decades, and vision correction is no exception. LASIK was first approved in the United States in 1999, and since then it has transformed the way in which those with poor vision can live their lives.
Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, or what is more popularly known as LASIK, is a surgical procedure that uses a laser to correct refractive vision problems. The most common vision problems that LASIK treats are near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism.
During LASIK, the laser creates a small flap into the outer layer of corneal tissue, so that it can access the area underneath. The laser is then used to reshape the underlying cornea, so that it more accurately focuses the light on the retina, which in turn improves the patient’s vision.
The flap is then replaced and left to heal naturally. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes per eye, and is performed after the patient has been given anesthetic eye drops, meaning that they aren’t in any discomfort while their eyes are being treated.
The exact correction made to the cornea will depend on the type of refractive error you have. If you are near-sighted, the cornea will be flattened, whereas if you are far-sighted, the tissue will be re-sculpted to make it steeper. If you have been diagnosed with astigmatism, your cornea will be fixed into a more normal shape.
The idea of laser eye surgery can be frightening, but don’t let the description put you off. The procedure is simple and extremely low risk.
Although you won’t be in any pain during your LASIK surgery, your eyes may feel off kilter during the healing process. Itchy, scratchy sensations are quite common, as well as blurred vision and haziness.
However, by the day after your procedure, you should feel much better. Many patients their vision improves immediately after the surgery, while others find that their eyesight continues to improve before stabilizing a few days after their surgery.
Dr. Goel will give you specific aftercare advice to follow, and this should be strictly adhered to so that you can experience the fastest and safest recovery from your LASIK procedure.
The Long-term Effects of LASIK
Many patients are concerned about the long-term effects of LASIK and want to know that the financial and personal investment in the procedure is worthwhile.
Although there is no guarantee that you will not need to wear some form of prescription vision correction after LASIK, most patients achieve 20/20 vision or better. Almost all patients who opt for laser vision correction find that their reliance on visual aids is dramatically reduced after surgery.
LASIK is considered to be a permanent solution for refractive vision problems, and for all intent and purposes this is true. However, as we get older our eyesight will naturally start to degenerate.
This is referred to as presbyopia, and refers to the thickening and hardening of the natural lens of the eye. Unfortunately, LASIK is ineffective at treating presbyopia, and older patients who have previously had LASIK surgery may find that they still require a mild prescription of reading glasses to help combat the condition. Presbyopia doesn’t normally start to affect the vision until at the ages of 45 years of age or older.
If you have any further questions about the permanence of LASIK laser eye surgery, or if you would like to schedule your consultation, please do not hesitate to call Dr. Sonny Goel’s Baltimore office today at 410-324-6700.