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Will I Ever Need Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses After LASIK?

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If you’re thinking about having LASIK or you already made the decision and still have loads of questions, our eye doctors in San Leandro, Concord, and Castro Valley strongly encourage you to ask away! We are experienced in co-management for LASIK and know all there is to know about this fantastic, popular procedure.

In general, LASIK helps the vast majority of people to get rid of their eyeglasses or contacts for good. This advanced laser eye surgery offers genuine freedom from the nuisance of prescription eyewear. It is a real life-changer… for most people. However, there are some times when people undergo LASIK and still need to put on a pair of eyeglasses. Read on to see if you fall into any of these categories.

What Factors Affect the Lasting Success of LASIK?

  1. Prescription Strength:  During LASIK, your eye surgeon will use a laser to remove a precise, predetermined amount of corneal tissue in order to reshape the cornea so that it corrects any refractive error. (Refractive error is the reason for your nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.) The best candidates for LASIK have mild to moderate nearsightedness.
  2. Visual Stability:  When a person has LASIK and later experiences a reduction in their vision, it is because their eyes have changed – meaning that the vision prescription wasn’t completely stable before surgery. (It is not because LASIK is “wearing off”! That can’t happen.) Generally, it is best to wait until you have the same vision prescription for at least 12 months before doing LASIK. If you do experience a reduction in visual acuity later on, then you will either need to start wearing eyeglasses again, or have a LASIK enhancement procedure to correct the problem.
  3. Age: Typically, eyes stop changing in your late teens or early 20s, especially with lower vision prescriptions. You can expect this phase of stable vision to last for a while, usually until you hit your 40s. That’s when presbyopia enters the scene! Presbyopia is a vision condition caused by a loss of flexibility of your eye’s lens, which makes it hard to focus on anything up close. It is the reason why people put on reading glasses or hold fine print at arm’s length and then squint to read it. So if you had LASIK in your younger years, you may still require eyeglasses for reading once you age.

In sum, if you have mild to moderate nearsightedness and have LASIK before your 40s, you will likely be able to store your eyeglasses in a closet for many years. But be aware that there may come a time when you’ll need them again. While LASIK can give you sharp vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses, the one thing it cannot do is put the brakes on aging!

Want to find out more about how LASIK can work for you? Book a consultation and eye exam with our eye doctors in San Leandro, Concord, and Castro Valley, and we’ll answer all your questions about LASIK!