How long Lasik lasts is a common concern amongst people considering having laser eye surgery. Lasik eye surgery is an expensive procedure and people need to feel reassured that their vision will remain clear for an extended period of time and ideally forever.
Like with most things in life there are never any 100% guarantees. Everybody’s eyes respond slightly differently to Lasik and you can therefore never predict exactly how long the visual correction will last.
Although you could never say for certain that the treatment will last forever there are a few facts that can be said about Lasik:
- Only 5% of people having Lasik will have to have the procedure repeated.
- If you are one of the 5% of people whose vision regresses back to the point where you need glasses again, you will probably be suitable to have laser re-treatment. This re-treatment is normally free (although not always) and is pretty much as safe as having your initial treatment. You can read more about this here.
- The higher your prescription (e.g. over -5.00) the more likely you are to regress. Your prescription is however very unlikely to regress back to anywhere near what it was before you had your surgery. For example, if your prescription was -6.00 before surgery it may regress back to -1.00.
- Plus prescriptions (e.g. +4.00) are more likely to regress than minus prescriptions.
- As you get older (over 45 years old) you are likely to need glasses for reading. This happens to everyone regardless of whether you have laser eye surgery or not and the name given to this is presbyopia. You can read about Presbyopia here.
In summary, there are no 100% guarantees that Lasik is permanent but the chances are your vision will remain perfect for life. Most people whose vision wears off will be suitable for laser re-treatment at no additional cost to themselves.