LASIK, also known as Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is a special refractive surgery which changes the shape of the cornea to improve vision and lower a person's reliance on eyeglasses or contacts. If you have near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism, you may have considered this surgery to boost your vision to a perfect 20/20. While most people do experience this type of success, it is important to note you may need eyeglasses again eventually.
Reasons for Needing Glasses after LASIK
If you are under the age of 40, LASIK can eliminate your need for prescription eyeglasses or contacts for a long period of time. However, one thing this laser surgery cannot do is effectively reverse the natural aging process. It is quite natural for people over the age of 40 to develop a condition called Presbyopia, a problem with focusing on near objects. Bifocals, multifocal contact lenses, and reading spectacles are often needed to correct Presbyopia, as LASIK has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this condition.
Extreme cases of near-sightedness may produce less than perfect results with LASIK, resulting in the need for corrective glasses or contacts. You may opt to go for an enhancement surgery once your eyes stabilize from the first LASIK procedure; however there is no guarantee that a second procedure will boost your vision to 20/20. At the very least, you would be able to ditch your thick corrective lenses to a lighter pair. Of course, a second surgery could fix the problem indefinitely but you would need glasses or contacts again eventually as you age.
A small percentage of people will achieve 20/20 vision results immediately following the surgery, but develop sensitivity to light, or vision may fluctuate during the course of a day or even from day to day. If you fall in this small percentage, you may require reading glasses for those days when your vision is less than perfect. Stress, insomnia and minor health conditions could affect your vision. In addition, sunglasses may be needed for both day and night to reduce glare or eliminate halos that might appear around lights.
With far-sightedness, LASIK can wear off after a number of "perfect vision" years. While you can opt for another surgery to correct the problem, within a few years you can expect enough visual degeneration due to aging to require corrective lenses. Why spend more money on this cosmetic procedure when you will eventually have to get prescription glasses anyway?
Give Yourself Time
It can take three to six months for your vision to stabilize after LASIK. During this time, you might need vision enhancement assistance to see you through. Consider purchasing cheap eyeglasses for reading or magnified glasses for sighting far distances. If the LASIK works, you will use the glasses less and less.
Keeping realistic expectations about your LASIK surgery is important, and your doctor should bring up all the possible outcomes, including the need for glasses, even after surgery. Because LASIK is considered an elective cosmetic surgery and is not covered by insurance in most cases, decide whether the expense is worth it, given the procedure is not a sure thing. Glasses are an affordable, surefire way to keep seeing clearly for years.