If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, All-Laser Lasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, CK, RLE, or any refractive surgery procedure, it is highly recommended to consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified.
If thoroughly evaluated and performed in the right candidate with the latest technology, patients who have LASIK do not generally require glasses for most activities. However, patients who are over the age of forty may wear reading glasses after LASIK (if both eyes were corrected for clear distance vision). Some patients will choose “monovision”, in which one eye is corrected for distance and the other eye is corrected for near. Whether you are a candidate for monovision will be determined during your consultation with doctor.
In a survey of about 800 adults who have had the surgery since 2001, 55 percent said they still wear glasses or contacts at least occasionally.
Still, the survey found that 80 percent of people who have received Lasik or other types of corrective eye surgeries said they are satisfied with the results. Some 22 percent said they experienced side effects such as dry eyes or glare six months after the surgeries.
The findings are interesting, Consumer Reports advocates said, because the vision correction surgeries are often pitched as alternatives to glasses or contact lenses. The average cost for the surgery is about $1,650 per eye.
“Laser vision correction surgery is a largely unchecked industry and consumers need to know the right questions to ask to be sure they’re protected,”
said Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, in a statement announcing the survey results.
Depending on what age you had your Lasik procedure and what kind of Lasik vision correction you had, you may still need reading glasses after a Lasik procedure. There is an almost inevitable vision condition related to aging called presbyopia that necessitates reading glasses even if you had your previous vision condition corrected with Lasik surgery.
This condition can occur to men and women over 40 years old; some even develop the condition in their late 30s. If this is the case, then the patient has no other recourse but to wear reading glasses after Lasik.
There are two ways to look at myopia (nearsighted, shortsighted). One is that you cannot see things far away very well. The other is that you can see things close very well.
When a normal sighted person looks at something distant, the natural lens of the eye relaxes to its normal shape. When that same person looks at something close, the muscles around the lens stretch or squeeze the lens to change its focus. This change of the lens shape for close vision is called accommodation.
Someone who is myopic has a lens with a normal shape that focuses on things close. To see something close, accommodation is not necessary; the lens is already set to focus on things close. Even with lenses to correct the myopia, the natural lens is not required to accommodate to see things close the same as without glasses.
As we mature, the natural lens in our eye expands, firms, and loses its ability to accommodate. This normal condition is known as presbyopia and develops in most people in between 40 and 60 years of age. Presbyopia may not be noticed in a myopic person because the need for accommodation is diminished by the myopia. Presbyopia can be masked by myopia. The lens may be unable to accommodate, but since the lens is already focused for close vision and the corrective lenses take care of the myopia, the lack of accommodation is not so well noticed.
When a person has refractive surgery to remove all of the myopia, suddenly the lens is expected to accommodate. Since accommodation has not been as much of an issue before refractive surgery, the muscles may be weak. The stiffness of the lens was not an issue before, but now this stiffness reduces the amount of accommodation possible to change from distant to close vision. This is what is often called “Sudden Presbyopia”.
There are a number of ways to deal with the focusing changes & challenges caused by presbyopia. People with a small amount of residual nearsightedness can simply remove their glasses to read. Some may need to use reading glasses for close work such as reading, using a computer, or sewing. Bifocals and trifocals can also be used to provide both near and far vision correction without having to constantly put on and take off a pair of glasses or switch between two pairs of glasses. Monovision can help by providing one eye focused for near vision and one eye focused for distance vision. Monovision Lasik is a procedure that sets your dominant eye to see distant objects and the other to see near objects. The brain will combine the two images to create one focused image of near and far. The focusing difference between two eyes can be confusing in the beginning but the brain adjust to it later on so that you can use your different eye focus without consciously thinking about it. This can eliminate the need for glasses after Lasik.
There is some downside to monovision Lasik procedures however. A person undergoing this procedure may lose clarity for distant as well as near vision. That is why monovision Lasik is not advisable to people who need acuity to either near or far vision. Athletes, doctors, or anybody who needs sharp vision to perform their job well are not a good candidate for this procedure. Lose of depth perception is also possible with monovision Lasik.
Another possible reason a person would need glasses after Lasik is to correct a Lasik-induced astigmatism. Should the Lasik procedure go wrong, it can develop to irregularly shaped cornea that results to blurring, ghost images, and double vision. If this happens, the patient could not avoid wearing correction glasses even if he or she had Lasik done. This can be avoided by going to a competent eye surgeon or having the more precise custom Lasik instead.