How Long Does LASIK Last? The Practical Overview

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February 2024

How Long Does LASIK Last? The Practical Overview

The ability to see near and far without the need for those pesky eyeglass frames or contact lenses is a dream for many of our patients who have refractive vision errors. By reshaping the cornea with LASIK to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness, patients find their vision transformed and enhanced. So much so, that patients experience a significant reduction in the use of vision aids, and find that almost every aspect of their daily lives, from work productivity to leisure activities, is improved upon. Now, while results like this are amazing, one of the most important questions on your mind is likely, “Well, how long do LASIK results last?” The good news is that for most, the results are lifelong, but there are a few factors that can impact their longevity, like age-related vision conditions and natural aging.

What Is LASIK Eye Surgery & How Does It Work?

A LASIK procedure is completed in a few quick and painless steps. Before the surgery, topical numbing drops are applied to the eyes, and a sedative (Valium) is given to help relax you during your appointment. Once this is done, expect the following:

  1. A thin flap is made in the cornea with our Swiss-made femtosecond laser. Your cornea is the thin, clear front part of your eye. The laser creates tiny gas bubbles that link together to create the flap.
  2. The flap is lifted, and our state-of-the-art Wavelight EX500 excimer laser is used to remove a microscopic amount of corneal tissue, reshaping it in the process. This reshaping process alters the general corneal curve of the eye, which improves the way light enters the eye and is focused on the retina.
  3. The flap is repositioned to cover the corneal tissue, and it adheres without the need for stitches.

While the actual laser treatment process only takes 10–15 minutes per eye, you can expect to be in your appointment for up to an hour, due to preparation time and post-operative care.

How Long Does LASIK Last?

With LASIK being a significant investment in your eye health, it only makes sense that patients want to know how long the surgery lasts for. It’s important to note here that the LASIK procedure itself creates permanent changes in your eyes’ corneal structure, but the outcome or results that you experience can be impacted by medical conditions or age-related anatomical changes. With this said, you can expect to experience immediate, and significant vision improvement within the first 24 hours of surgery. You’ll be able to resume your regular activities within a few days afterward.

In the long term, most patients (95%) who undergo LASIK are satisfied with their vision 10 years after the surgery, and about 91% of these individuals, do not need prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses for distance vision [1, 2, 3]. To put it simply, the answer to “How long does LASIK last” is years, so long as there are no anatomical changes to your eyes.

What Factors Can Impact The Longevity of LASIK Results?

The outcomes of LASIK are generally stable and permanent. Once your eyes heal from the surgery, your cornea will maintain its new shape and refract light properly onto your retina. This means that your vision will not change unless there are other factors that affect your eyesight.

  • Hormonal changes: Pregnancy, menopause, or certain medications can cause fluctuations in your vision due to changes in your hormones.
  • Eye diseases: Conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy can impair your vision and require treatment.
  • Eye injuries: Trauma to your eye can damage your cornea or retina and alter your vision quality.

The key to ensuring the longevity of your LASIK results is to keep up with regular eye examinations and maintain your overall eye health. If, at any point in time, you notice changes to your vision, make sure to give us a call and book yourself in for a consultation. Here at OVO, we have the OVO Lifetime Assurance, which means we are committed to you throughout your lifetime and will stand by you if there are any changes in your vision after your LASIK procedure with us.

What You Need to Know About Touch-up Enhancements

If you notice your LASIK results changing, a touch-up or enhancement surgery can be performed to fine-tune or improve your results. This secondary procedure is often done if the initial surgery did not achieve the desired outcome, or when there is a significant change in your vision over time. Touch-up surgery is quite uncommon, only occurring in 1-5% of patients within 10 years of surgery [4], as LASIK’s satisfaction and success rates are quite high, with more than 90% of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better [5]. With this said, here is what you need to keep in mind about touch-up work:

  • An eye evaluation needs to be done to ensure your corneal thickness, eye health, and vision quality make you a good candidate for a secondary procedure.
  • Touch-up work can only enhance the existing results. It does not guarantee perfect vision or the elimination of vision aids.
  • Your eyes need 3–6 months to stabilize and heal completely. Touch-up work prior to this is usually not recommended.

Touch-up work can be necessary to correct any remaining vision issues after the initial LASIK surgery; however, it’s important to note that touch-up work brings its own set of risks. Each additional surgery increases the risk of complications, such as dry eye syndrome, corneal scarring, epithelial ingrowth, and irregular astigmatism.

LASIK & Presbyopia: Vision After 40

If you are considering LASIK eye surgery and are wondering how long LASIK lasts past the age of 40, the answer here is that you may need to undergo additional treatment options that treat presbyopia even after having LASIK. This is because LASIK does not prevent the natural aging process of your eyes, and if you do develop presbyopia, you will experience a loss of near vision. This happens because your eye’s natural lens hardens, making it less flexible, and unable to focus on close objects as easily. Presbyopia is a condition that affects everyone, including those who have never worn glasses or contacts, and those who have had LASIK eye surgery.

Why Choose OVO LASIK + LENS For Your Vision Transformation?

Here at OVO LASIK + Lens, we are committed to patient care. As a surgeon-owned and operated clinic, we prioritize our patients’ needs above all else. We believe in providing world-class care to each patient, and we have assembled a team of top surgeons, staff, and cutting-edge technology to ensure that our patients receive precise, customized, exceptional service. Our mission is to help our patients achieve optimal vision, experience the transformative impact of LASIK, and improve their overall quality of life. If you have any further questions about the LASIK procedure, the post-operative journey, or the outcomes our patients enjoy, please call us at 877-686-3937, email us at: info@ovoeye.com, or send us a message through our website. You can also book a free LASIK exam here.

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