Is Laser Eye Treatment Permanent?

Laser eye treatment is permanent, but its effects are not. That one simple sentence sums up the hope and the frustration inherent in vision improvement surgeries. You go to the doctor to have your vision fixed, enjoy the benefits for a time, and then wake up one day noticing that the world has gone a bit fuzzy around the edges. What is going on?

Changes Over Time

For 9 out of 10 people, the problem has nothing to do with the laser eye treatment you paid for when you were in your 20’s or 30’s. The issue is with your eye. As the eye ages, it becomes less flexible, and this changes its abilities to refract light and give a clear picture of the world.

Laser eye treatments can address refractive imperfections caused by the shape of your eye. By reshaping the cornea, the clarity of your vision can be improved. The effects of this reshaping are permanent. A topographical map of your eye will show you the differences, and you will need to modify your ophthalmological screenings for glaucoma and cataracts as a result of your treatment.

However, the refractive analysis that your ophthalmologist did at the time of your surgery was designed to give you the best vision possible for the current state of your eyes for your age. As your eyes age, your refractive analysis may become less applicable to your vision. You will notice this as a gradual blurring, especially of distant objects, as distance vision goes first.

Preserving Your Vision

What can be done? At the moment, there is little that can be done to reverse the effects of aging of vision. LASIK surgery is very limited in its potential for touch ups, although PRK/LASEK offers more opportunity for follow-up work. However, like any cosmetic surgery, there reaches a point beyond which things are simply not going to get any better looking.

Glasses and contact solutions are good compensating options. Depending on the way your cornea healed after your surgery, you may not be able to wear just any brand of contact. Some contacts require certain curvatures to provide a good fit to your eye. Have a thorough discussion with your doctor about the best options for the health of your eye—laser eye treatments coupled with contacts can limit oxygen flow to your cornea, and you will want to ensure you continue to get enough oxygen to your eye to maximize your remaining vision.

Additionally, discuss with your eye doctor any supplements you may want to take to feed your eye as you age to keep your vision strong. There are a number of products on the market, but not all are effective. However, your doctor should be able to recommend a budget-friendly product that will help you get the best vision from your eyes as you continue to age.


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