Is Laser Eye Surgery Permanent?

A commonly asked question about laser eye surgery is whether or not the results are permanent. Whilst no clinic would ever guarantee that the results are permanent in most cases the results are long-lasting.
Although the figures will vary between clinics, it is generally agreed that around 5% of people having laser eye surgery will need re-treatment. This re-enhancement is generally carried out free of charge from the clinic that originally did your treatment.
The following explains the factors that will increase the likelihood that you will not re-treatment:

  • High prescriptions: The higher your prescription the greater the chance of needing re-treatment.
  • Long sighted prescriptions: Long sighted prescriptions (e.g. +3.00) are more likely to regress and need re-treating than short-sighted prescriptions.
  • High astigmatism: The higher your astigmatism the greater the chance of needing re-treatment.

What is important to mention here is that although there is a 5% chance that your prescription will regress, it is generally only to a fraction of what your prescription was initially. For example, someone whose prescription was originally -5.00 Dioptres may find their prescription regresses to -0.50 Dioptres.
In summary, although there are no guarantees that laser eye surgery is permanent, the vast majority of people will find that their treatment is long-lasting. If your prescription does regress the chances are that you will be suitable to have re-treatment at no extra cost to you. If you are extremely unlucky and are not suitable for re-treatment, the likelihood is that your prescription will only have returned to a fraction of what it was prior to surgery and therefore you will probably only need glasses for occasional use.

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