If I'm over 40, will I still need glasses after LASIK surgery?

An excellent question that all patients over 40 should understand!

Most people think that measuring vision is as simple as the number ratio 20/20 (or 20/40, 20/100. etc.). In reality, though, these numbers only refer to DISTANCE vision. It is very possible to be 20/20 and still need reading glasses. The main reason for this is a vision problem entirely separate from myopia, astigmatism, or hyperopia: Presbyopia. This is the gradual loss of near vision due to the slow, gradual hardening of the natural lens. EVERYBODY, if they live long enough, will become presbyopic.

Since Presbyopia is a problem of the lens of the eye, it is not possible to "cure" it with a cornea-based treatment such as LASIK. This does not mean your distance vision after LASIK will likely degrade, but your near vision will definitely do so.

While it is possible to "trick" presbyopia with something like Monovision (where one eye sees better way off and one is made better at near), this is not really a cure for it.

_Written by J. Trevor Woodhams, M.D. - Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic