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LASIK: Key take-outs

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  • LASIK treatment is intended to reduce or eliminate dependence on glasses and contact lenses.
  • The treatment may over- or under-correct the refractive error.
  • Expectations must be realistic in that some small amount of refractive error often does remain, similar to “normal” non-spectacle wearers.
  • For those with normal vision (good distance vision) there will be a progressive need for reading glasses for near vision after 40 to 45 years old. LASIK does not affect the ageing process of the lens within the eye (presbyopia).
  • Normally, when adult life is reached, the vision is stable and remains so after LASIK. In younger patients however it is possible to become slightly more myopic with time.
  • LASIK as with other corneal surgery does however make it somewhat more involved to measure the lens implant power needed in later life when cataract surgery is required and makes it more difficult to measure the pressure of the eye. However LASIK does not affect ageing changes and diseases of the eye such as natural development of cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
  • Based on previous treatments the complication rate for LASIK is around 2-3% with most complications settling without affecting the final visual result. Around 1 in 1,000 will have a significant reduction in vision due to a complication that cannot be corrected or will involve more extensive surgery to remedy the vision.
  • Wavefront guided LASIK has been shown to provide better vision than previous refraction-based LASIK treatment but there is still some scatter in outcome (to be expected due to individual differences in corneal healing) and as such custom wavefront-guided treatment should not be regarded as guaranteeing perfect vision.
  • Visit our laser eye surgery page here to find out more about different types of LASIK