Is LASIK worth it and does it permanently last? What inconveniences come with it and how old do you have to be?

Most people think LASIK = Any ocular surgery to correct the need for wearing glasses. This is not actually the case -there are a number of different ocular procedures to "get rid of glasses" of which LASIK is the most well-known. Some of these involve lasering the cornea of the eye and some are lens implants that don't touch the cornea. The right procedure can only be determined for you after an in-depth, dilated eye examination that entails many biometric tests not usually used by eye doctors.

This may not be what you are asking, but it is what you should be asking. If LASIK is determined to be your best option, you should realize it not some sort of magic trick that will permanently fix your vision until the end of your life. For example, everybody will eventually develop PRESBYOPIA (the loss of near vision with middle age) which is totally unrelated to myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. If you are lucky enough to live a long life, you will develop PRESBYOPIA whether you have LASIK or not. Same thing with cataracts and other eye problems that can affect vision. LASIK does not make any of these more likely to happen, but it does not make them any less likely to happen either.

Overall, LASIK is extremely safe (but not 100% guaranteed) and patients are usually back at work or their normal daily routine the next day. The best candidates are ages18-45. In properly selected patients and using the most up-to-date equipment, LASIK is an extremely successful procedure that many people describe as one of the most important events in their life.

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