How long does laser eye surgery last?

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With normal vision the cornea refracts light precisely onto the retina at the back of the eye. However, for a patient with nearsightedness (mytopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or Astigmatism the light is bent incorrectly resulting in blurred vision. Many people choose laser eye surgery to correct these vision problems.

During the procedure a laser is used to remove the desired amount of corneal tissue. This permanently reshapes the cornea, improving the eyes ability to focus light onto the retina. With the medical advancements over the years it has become one of the safest and most effective types of medical treatments carried out.

Around 90% of patients experience 20/20 vision post surgery but there is no way to predict who will experience further vision problems in the future.

How long does it last for? 

It is a common myth that laser eye surgery only lasts for a few years. With the surgery, whether you have myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism, the problem is being corrected so technically it should last a lifetime. 

However as we age, we all experience natural age related changes to our eyes, normally beginning in our late forties. This is called Presbyopia where the lenses within our eyes are not able to change shape as quickly when switching from looking at distance to looking at something close up.

If your surgery was performed before these age related changes started then you may need an enhancement surgery at a later date. Cataracts can also develop with age, a simple cataracts surgery can treat this.

Although many people state that regression can occur, technically this is also a myth as the shape of the cornea has been changed so total regression isn’t really possible. Although deterioration over time is possible. Laser eye surgery will correct your near or farsightedness; it cannot stop these conditions from advancing again over time. 

If your prescription was unstable before your surgery this can also affect the long term outcomes. This is why most surgeons will ask for your prescription to be stable for at least twelve months before they will carry out the procedure. 

Around 90% of patients experience 20/20 vision post surgery but there is no way to predict who will experience further vision problems in the future. It is important to have a thorough eye examination with your surgeon beforehand to ensure that you are a good candidate for the surgery. In fact there can be many steps between that initial consultation and the treatment itself, normally containing at least two eye examinations. 

Who would not make a good candidate for laser eye surgery?

If you are – 

  • Under 20.
  • Suffer from Cataracts or Glaucoma.
  • Have an autoimmune disease such as Lupus.
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding.

You may not be a good candidate for surgery. Your surgeon will want to ensure the best possible outcome and limit the chances of complications. A good surgeon will not accept you for treatment knowing that it has a high chance of not being as successful as you hope.  

However, if you are an ideal candidate but you have heard the rumours that it lasts for a limited amount of time and are worried that a few years after surgery you will need to have it all done again, rest assured, many patients end up never needing to pick up a pair of glasses again!  

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