Studies show that the majority of patients obtain 20/20 vision or better after laser eye surgery. And nearly all patients achieve 20/40 or better which is fully functional and good enough to drive without glasses or contacts. Most importantly, the vast majority of people are satisfied with laser eye surgery. In a recent study, about 97% of laser eye surgery patients said they would recommend it to a friend or relative.
Patients are often amazed by the clarity of their vision the day after surgery, but your visual experience after LASIK may be slightly different than with corrective lenses. While there are great benefits of LASIK, as with any refractive surgery, there are also short-term side effects you may experience as you recover. You may also still occasionally need to wear corrective lenses to achieve the sharpest possible vision.
The benefits of your own laser eye procedure will depend on many personal factors. Your age, health and degree of refractive error will all affect the results of your procedure.
If you are moderately nearsighted
Mildly or moderately nearsighted patients with or without astigmatism have some of the best benefits of laser eye surgery and recover most quickly.
Studies of mildly or moderately nearsighted patients show that one year after having laser eye surgery:
If you are severely nearsighted
Less than 5% of people are severely nearsighted with refractive error of 7 dioptres or greater. Studies show that among these patients, one year after having LASIK eye surgery procedure.
If you are severely nearsighted, you may have a higher chance of regression after LASIK. This means you might see initial improvement, and then see it diminish somewhat over time. A touch-up LASIK treatment, also called an enhancement, is usually effective in correcting regression.
Studies have also noted a slightly higher risk of complications for very nearsighted patients as well. Almost all LASIK complications are treatable and you can discuss this further with your eye surgeon.
A small number of patients are too nearsighted to have LASIK. If so, a different surgery, called a phakic IOL implantation may be an appropriate alternative to correct your refractive error.
If you are moderately farsighted
Mildly or moderately farsighted patients with or without astigmatism can be very good candidates for a laser eye procedure and achieve good benefits of LASIK.
Studies of mildly or moderately farsighted patients who have had laser eye treatment show that after nine months.
Farsighted eyes generally recover more slowly than nearsighted eyes, so your surgeon may wish to treat one eye and wait a few days to weeks before treating the other. It may also take longer for you to achieve your best vision while your eyes heal.
Farsighted patients may also have a higher chance of regression after laser eye treatment. This means you might see initial improvement and then see it diminish somewhat over time. A touch-up LASIK treatment, also called an enhancement, is usually effective in correcting regression.
If you are severely farsighted
Less than 5% of people are severely farsighted with refractive error of +4 dioptres
Studies have noted a slightly higher risk of complications for severely farsighted patients, as well. Almost all LASIK complications are treatable, but discuss this carefully with your eye surgeon.
A small number of patients are too farsighted (greater than +6 dioptres) to have LASIK. If so, a different surgery, called refractive lens exchange, may be an appropriate alternative to correct your refractive error.
If you have moderate astigmatism
Laser eye treatment has been shown to be very effective in treating mild to moderate astigmatism up to 4 dioptres. The benefits of LASIK will depend on the exact nature and degree of your astigmatism, however, and whether you have other refractive errors.
Your eye surgeon can tell you what you can expect, based on the anatomy of your eyes
If you have severe astigmatism
A very small number of patients have astigmatism higher than 4 dioptres.
In this case, your surgeon may recommend that you have LASIK procedure with an additional procedure, such as limbal relaxing incisions, to better correct your vision.