Why might patient who has undergone lasik surgery need reading glasses earlier than if they had not had the surgery at all, according to both the FTCs lasik consumer info page and the American academy of ophthalmology?

In fact, that is an "apples to oranges" comparison.

LASIK eliminates myopia (nearsightedness). A nearsighted person's default focal point is up close. In a young person with good distance vision, wearing glasses or contacts (or having LASIK) won't affect near vision because they can "accommodate."

All people as they enter their 40s lose their accommodation, meaning they will need reading glasses (presbyopia). But if they are myopic, they could just take off their glasses and use their myopic default near focus instead of putting on reading glasses. [Harder to do wearing contacts.]

They won't have glasses to take off to do this, though, if they have LASIK. A better way to understand this is: near vision in middle age (presbyopia) will be almost the same whether you have LASIK or wear contacts because LASIK doesn't treat Presbyopia.

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