Is LASIK A Permanent Procedure?

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Most people are familiar with the concept of LASIK. It is a surgical procedure that results in better vision, so you can reduce your dependency on glasses and contacts.

One of the most common questions about LASIK is whether the results are permanent or not. The answer is, LASIK is a permanent solution to nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

There are other eye or medical conditions that can alter your vision after LASIK, however.  If you are over the age of 40, you will notice your near vision decreasing as you age.  This condition is called Presbyopia, the natural aging process of the eyes, which occurs with or without LASIK.  LASIK will not prevent your near vision from changing and cannot cure Presbyopia.

If you have an eye injury or another eye condition that develops after LASIK, your vision will likely change.  Glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachments, macular degeneration, corneal disease, along with many other eye conditions will all affect your vision.

Another very common medical condition that can cause vision change is diabetes.  If you have diabetes and your blood sugar is uncontrolled, you risk developing diabetic retinopathy, which will affect your sight over time.  This will happen with or without LASIK.

Pregnancy is also a time of major change for the entire body, including the eyes.  Both water retention in the cornea and hormones can affect your vision.  In some cases, these changes may be temporary, rarely in others, they can be permanent.  Unfortunately, there is no way to distinguish which cases are temporary.  If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, our doctors recommend waiting at least 4 months after having the LASIK procedure.  Our doctors recommend waiting at least 3 months after you are finished nursing before having LASIK.  This will allow your body enough time to adapt to its new normal.

How Does LASIK Work?

LASIK works by permanently reshaping your cornea. A normal functioning cornea should focus light clearly and directly on your retina.

The more precisely your cornea can focus the light, the better your vision is. If light focuses in front of or behind your retina or doesn’t get focused, you have a refractive error.

LASIK changes the point of focus in your eye by altering the shape of your cornea to a more uniform shape. This correction changes your eye’s focal point to ensure it hits your retina at the exact right spot for clear vision.

How Long Does the LASIK Procedure Take?

Changing the shape of the cornea is a straightforward procedure.  You are typically in the LASIK suite for about 15 minutes, but most of that time is spent getting everything lined up.  The actual treatment time is generally under three minutes for both eyes.

After LASIK, you will likely notice an immediate visual improvement, but likely your vision will be smoky and hazy.  That haziness will decrease over 24 – 48 hours.  Most patients gain 80-90% of their vision by the very next day.

Other LASIK Misconceptions

The permanency of LASIK is not the only concern people have about LASIK. Some people believe that LASIK is painful.

This statement is false. LASIK gets performed with strong anesthetic eye drops, so you do not feel much – just a slight pressure sensation.

Another common misconception is that LASIK is dangerous.  LASIK is a medical procedure, so it does come with some risk, but it also has a tremendous success rate.

An unbelievable 99% of patients receive the best vision of their lives, and a large majority achieve 20/20 or better eyesight! So if you are considering LASIK, safety does not need to be a concern of yours at VisionPoint Eye Center. We invest in the best technology and equipment to ensure you are safe and your visual results are outstanding.  It is a well-established procedure with an impressive track record.

Curious about the visual freedom LASIK can provide?  If you would like to reduce your dependency on glasses or contacts, schedule a LASIK consultation at VisionPoint Eye Center in Bloomington, IL, today! Come find out if LASIK is right for you.

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