In the vast majority of cases, laser eye surgery is a permanent vision correction option for patients. However, with age, your eyes may change and you may experience other vision problems. While the changes made by laser eye surgery are permanent, this will not prevent these age-related changes from occurring.
LASIK and other forms of laser eye surgery correct vision so that you’ll be able to stop relying on glasses or contacts to correct myopia or hyperopia.
One of the benefits of laser eye surgery (including LASIK) is its permanence. Once the procedure takes place, the effects of laser eye surgery – reshaping the cornea to correct long- or short-sightedness – will usually last for life. Whether you have myopia (commonly known as near-sightedness and short-sightedness) or hyperopia (also known as hypermetropia and far-sightedness), following laser eye surgery, your corrected vision will allow you to read, drive and live your life without the aid of glasses or contact lenses. The procedure, which can take as little as 20 minutes, will provide a lasting correction to your eye prescription.
However, with age, your eyes may change and you may experience other vision problems. While the changes made by laser eye surgery are permanent, this will not prevent these age-related changes from occurring.
Here’s an overview of the results you can expect from the surgery and the vision problems that some individuals may experience as they age:
There is a small degree of risk in all surgical procedures, including LASIK and other forms of laser eye surgery. In a very small number of cases, the corneal flap may not be fashioned completely during surgery. If this rare complication occurs, laser eye surgery can be repeated after 2 or 3 months, when the resulting vision correction should, this time around, be permanent.
It should be stressed that this is a rare occurrence. As long as there are no complications, there will be no need for a patient to undergo repeat laser eye surgery.
How long laser eye surgery ‘lasts’ depends on your age when you have the procedure.
It’s normal for everyone to experience visual problems as they age – whether or not they have undergone laser eye surgery. Typically when we reach our late 40s, our eyes change and many experience presbyopia (reading vision problems). It may be necessary to wear reading glasses for close work such as typing on the computer or reading a book.
For some patients, cataracts can form as they get older, which can result in prescription and vision changes. The visual problems caused by cataracts can be treated with cataract surgery, a simple procedure that takes around half an hour.
In order to ensure that laser eye surgery will be effective and for the result to last, your prescription should be stable and ideally unchanged within the last two years before the procedure is carried out.
If laser eye surgery was performed on a patient with an unstable prescription, the result may not be expected to last and a subsequent enhancement procedure may be required.
Those under the age of 18 will typically have an unstable prescription because the eyes tend to keep changing into early adulthood. While you should be at least 18 before having laser eye surgery, we highly recommend waiting until your prescription has stabilised before going down the laser vision correction route.
While it’s not possible to treat future visual problems with laser eye surgery, procedures like LASIK provide patients with a permanent correction to their eye prescription. The effects of laser eye surgery last forever, permanently adjusting the shape of your eyes so as to enable them to focus light correctly.
The human eye continues to age, and having laser eye surgery doesn’t stop that. Your prescription can change mildly over time but the main changes occur in your mid to late 40s when your reading vision becomes an issue. The good news is that you can have further laser vision done later in life.
Looking for more information on what sets our laser eye surgery apart? Our laser eye surgery brochure contains all the information you need. View our brochure page to receive your free download.
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Last updated on January 31st, 2023 by Ms Masara Laginaf