LASIK eye surgery permanently alters the shape of the cornea to improve vision, addressing farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia) and/or astigmatism. These changes and improvements are permanent. However, the eyes change as we age, just like the rest of our bodies. Our eye doctors at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons offer LASIK and other vision correction procedures.
During childhood and adolescence, eyesight goes through many changes. This is when myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism progress, but vision stabilizes sometime in our 20s. LASIK candidates must have a stable prescription for at least one year to ensure they’ve reached ocular maturity. LASIK results are permanent, but any future eye changes may affect results. The eyes can change but will never revert to pre-LASIK eyesight.
How Aging Affects the Eyes
LASIK corrects refractive errors caused by a misshapen cornea, but changes to the eyes’ natural lenses will cause additional vision issues with age. People in their 40s and older often require reading glasses because of presbyopia. Presbyopia occurs when the eye lens begins to harden and stiffen, making it more difficult to adjust focus (like a camera lens) for objects nearby. This age-related loss of vision affects everyone.
As we get older, our natural lenses can become cloudy due to protein deposits in the eye clumping together to form a cataract. Cataracts affect most adults by the age of 75 but are curable with cataract surgery.
LASIK results are permanent, but they won’t stop these aging-related changes. Many patients find LASIK worthwhile for the permanent correction of common refractive errors, especially those whose poor vision prevents them from enjoying certain activities such as swimming.
LASIK Patient Satisfaction in the Research
Many studies have evaluated patients’ visual acuity and satisfaction with LASIK results. A five-year clinical trial found that 94 percent of patients did not require corrective eyewear for distance five years after their LASIK procedures and satisfaction with results remained high. A follow-up study for LASIK patients with moderate to high myopia found that 75 percent of the 68 eyes treated with LASIK were within one diopter (vision measurement) of the targeted correction 12 years after LASIK. These changes were attributed to myopic regression related to corneal steepening.
There is a low rate of LASIK retreatment needed for some patients. Around 1 to 2 percent of people who have LASIK need an enhancement procedure in the first year, and this incidence goes up one percent each year. A large-scale study of 9,000 LASIK surgeries in Israel over five years found the retreatment rate was less than 2 percent.
Schedule Your LASIK Consultation in Boston
LASIK permanently corrects your vision and allows you to enjoy many years of clear vision. Schedule your LASIK consultation at Boston Eye Physicians & Surgeons today by calling (617) 232-9600 or filling out our online form.