How Long Do Laser Eye Surgery Effects Last?

Often when we think of the effects of laser eye surgery, we automatically lean towards thinking about the negative side effects that people think can occur. Don’t ever forget the positive effects of having laser eye surgery, which is getting the clear vision that you’ve always dreamt of.

This post will focus on both the positive and negative side effects of undergoing laser eye surgery.

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It’s good to know exactly what you could be getting yourself in for before you undergo treatment and this blog will take you through everything you need to know so that there are no hidden surprises, good or bad.

We’ll cover:

  • The Treatments: Positive Benefits
  • The Side Effects of Laser Eye Surgery

 

The Treatments: Positive Benefits

LASIK Treatment

What is LASIK?

For the last 25 years, LASIK surgery has successfully helped improve the lives and eyesight of tens of millions of patients.

There are various conditions that the treatment can help or cure including short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism and can even help those who require reading glasses.

What are the Positive Benefits?

There are various benefits to undergoing LASIK eye surgery. These are:

  • LASIK is usually a painless procedure, both during and after.
  • Results can usually be seen as little as just one to four hours after the treatment.
  • No bandages or stitches are required after your treatment.
  • You’ll save money in the long run as you won’t have to keep updating your frames to the latest trend.
  • The results are permanent for many prescriptions and follow-up procedures are rare.

How Long Do They Last?

The changes made to the cornea are permanent but the natural effects of ageing mean that patients aren’t guaranteed 100 percent vision forever.

Laser eye surgery can cure short-sightedness and astigmatism for most patients, but all humans have an age-related decline in close vision in middle age. Fortunately, there is now a range of options for patients suffering from this close-up blur, including blended vision and refractive lens exchange (RLE).

And everybody is different. So that means that people recover at different rates. Your surgeon should monitor your recovery and let you know if further attention is required.

Any additional treatment is usually carried out between three to six months after the initial procedure.

LASEK Treatment

What is LASEK?

LASEK eye treatments reshape the cornea to correct your focus abnormalities. These treatments are far less popular than LASIK, and the healing process is also considerably longer. It can take up to four to seven days to recover clearer vision, and best results aren’t achieved for 4-12 weeks after treatment.


What are the Positive Benefits?

As with LASIK, there are also various benefits to having LASEK eye treatment:

  • Rectifies eye conditions of people with unsuitable corneas for LASIK.
  • Can be a more effective option if you’re severely short-sighted.
  • Potentially smaller risk of developing dry eyes after surgery, although modern femtosecond LASIK likely has equally low, or sometimes lower, incidence of dryness.

How Long Do They Last?

Like LASIK, the changes to the cornea that LASEK makes are permanent.

However, everybody is different.

So that means that people recover at different rates. Some people may also require extra treatment. If you’re really worried about your symptoms, speak to your surgeon. They’ll be able to track and monitor your conditions and advise accordingly.

The Temporary Side Effects of Laser Eye Surgery

 

Dry Eyes

It’s normal for laser eye surgery to cause a reduction in tear production. Don’t worry, this is only temporary and should only last up to six months after your surgery. Even though it’s only temporary, that doesn’t take away the fact that it can still cause mild discomfort and perhaps hamper your vision at times.

This is easily solved in most cases through eye drops which will keep your eyes nice and hydrated. If dryness persists, there are several other treatments available to help and improve dry eyes.

Glare, Halos and Double Vision

You may start seeing hazy rings around light sources after your surgery. Again this is very common in the first few weeks, so it’s nothing to worry about. Anybody who undergoes laser eye surgery is susceptible to experiencing this, regardless of their health or age.

The main example of seeing these rings is around car headlights, so it can prove tricky to drive in rarer circumstances. If you do start with glares, halos and double vision, we advise you not to drive until they’re reduced.

For most patients, the initial halos and glare quickly subside. Long-term problems are linked to treatment of very high prescription, e.g. 07.00 dioptres and higher. Research has shown there is no correlation with the size of the pupils in the dark, as was once believed.

Manage glares and halos by keeping other lights on to prevent your pupils from fully dilating. Your doctor may also prescribe you eye drops to constrict your pupils and give you clearer vision.

 

Overcorrection or Undercorrection

In rare cases, your vision may be overcorrected or undercorrected. This may lead to you not getting the results you were hoping for and you might still have to wear glasses or contact lenses.

The main reason for still having some prescription afterwards, either overcorrection or undercorrection, is from the healing process within the cornea (assuming you have a quality surgeon who is very experienced in performing the procedure correctly and managing hydration of the cornea throughout the treatment).

The excimer laser is accurate to better than 1/50th of a dioptre (the unit of strength of your prescription, e.g. -3.00 dioptres might be a typical short-sighted amount being lasered).

However, the healing process can cause a variability of plus or minus 0.50 dioptres, and occasionally even more. This microscopic healing stage lasts for 3-6 months. It is only after this period has passed can you say what the final result has been, and if an additional re-treatment, or enhancement, is required.

If a laser eye enhancement is needed, it’s most common to perform that at 4-6 months after the primary procedure. This depends on your eye condition so it’s best to consult your surgeon for more advice.

Find Out More About Laser Eye Surgery

If you’re interested in learning more about laser eye surgery, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

We, at Focus at Clinic, are the only laser eye surgery clinic in the UK with a 100 percent success rate. We’re the most trusted clinic in the country, as indicated by our #1 ranking and unbeaten reviews on Trustpilot.

Our two surgeons have more than 45 years of experience and have performed over 35,000 procedures between them. We also offer a comprehensive aftercare package with a unique 10-year guarantee instead of the usual one year you’d find in other clinics.

Find out more by clicking the button and getting our free guide.

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