According to the Belmont Eye Center, one of the most unfortunate myths regarding LASIK (or laser in-situ keratomileusis) is that it does not last more than 10 years. It is unfortunate because this apparent fact often plays a significant role in a patient’s decision to avoid undergoing the procedure, thereby taking away an opportunity for them to restore their eyesight.
This truth is that the modern LASIK procedure is considered permanent vision correction, and those who opt to undergo this surgery may expect their corrected vision to last far longer than the mere 10 years offered by popular myth. While the original LASIK surgery performed in the 1990s did have certain shortcomings, the following 20+ years have seen the field advance a great deal. Today, it is one of the safest and swiftest corrective procedures for the eye that a patient can undergo. It is also, notably, one of the most effective and long-lasting.
How does this happen? LASIK improves your existing vision by either flattening the central cornea in the case of myopic LASIK for nearsightedness or by steepening the central cornea for hyperopic LASIK to treat farsightedness. In the case of nearsightedness, which accounts for 85% of LASIK procedures, the eye has too much power. This is why people with poor distance vision from myopia wear glasses or contact lenses with negative power. The eye has too much power and LASIK decreases that power by removing a minimal amount of central corneal tissue.
LASIK lasers cannot add tissue to the eye; they can only remove tissue. So, for farsighted treatments, our LASIK lasers remove tissue in a donut shape peripherally and barely touch the center of the cornea. This removal of tissue causes the center of the cornea to steepen and gives the eye more power. This idea is key to understand how this technology works and how modern LASIK platforms have improved to make LASIK last a very long time.
Interested in LASIK eye surgery with Dr. Belmont? Learn more here.