One of the most common questions asked by patients considering LASIK surgery is, “Does LASIK wear off?”
It is a common myth that the effects of Lasik can wear off over time, but that simply isn’t true. To understand the long-term effects of this vision correction procedure, it’s important to know how your eyes work and how the surgery changes your vision.
How We See
The cornea is one of the outermost parts of the eye. It sits in front of the pupil and iris, which is the colored part of the eye. Light passes through the cornea, then goes through the pupil, and then passes through the lens. The lens focuses the light on the retina, which then sends the information to the brain, where that information is interpreted into what we see.
In this process, if the cornea isn’t shaped correctly, the light is bent to focus on the wrong place in your eye, which results in blurry vision. If the light is bent to focus in front of your retina, then objects far away will be blurry. This is called near sightedness. If the light is bent to focus behind the retina, objects that are close up will be blurry. This is farsightedness. LASIK works to correct these vision problems by reshaping the cornea so that the light focuses exactly where it should — directly on the retina.
Long-term Effects of Lasik surgery
Once the cornea is reshaped, the effects are permanent. However, this does not prevent the normal changes to your vision that come with aging.
As we get older, our close up vision can become blurry due to presbyopia which may require us to wear reading glasses or bifocals. This is due to the lens losing its flexibility with age and not the cornea.
LASIK also does not prevent vision changes related to other eye diseases and conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts. Because of this, it’s important to continue comprehensive eye exams every year even after you’ve achieved great vision with laser eye surgery.