LASIK is an effective therapy for nearsightedness. After surgery, you could see clearer than you ever have before. You might not need to wear glasses or contacts all the time to do things like drive.
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Can Nearsightedness Be Corrected With LASIK?
LASIK is a highly effective method for correcting nearsightedness. While glasses and contact lenses are often utilized, they may pose certain inconveniences. On the contrary, LASIK offers a more permanent and hassle-free solution.
The process of LASIK involves reshaping the cornea, which helps in appropriately focusing the light onto the retina, resulting in improved visual clarity. Known for its safety and efficacy, LASIK has become a preferred choice among many for the correction of nearsightedness.
How LASIK Treats Nearsighted People
During LASIK eye surgery, a tiny flap in the cornea is created and folded back, giving a laser access to deeper corneal tissue in the eye. Some of that tissue is removed, making the eye a little thinner and allowing light to focus in an ideal manner on the back of the eye. When the proper amount of tissue is removed, the flap is replaced.
During LASIK, both eyes are optimized for distance, allowing people with myopia to see items far from them without the constant use of glasses or contacts. In a study about the efficacy of this surgery, published in the Journal of Refractive Surgery, researchers found that 100% of people who had LASIK had 20/25 vision four years later without the use of glasses or contacts. This is a remarkable result, and it suggests that this surgery could be very helpful for some people with myopia.
Tissue removal is how LASIK works to correct myopia. After surgery, the eye is shorter, and light hits the proper part of the back of the eyeball. The degree of myopia does play a role in surgery success, however.
People with very high degrees of myopia may need to have quite a bit of tissue removed from their eyes to see clearly, and they may experience a regression in prescription levels over time. Those with lower levels of myopia tend to avoid these problems.
Can LASIK Correct Both Nearsightedness & Farsightedness at the Same Time?
Vision changes with age. Muscles weaken, and sometimes, eyes can’t focus on close items. If you had myopia as a young person, you might develop farsightedness as you age. People with mixed vision have signs of nearsightedness and farsightedness at once. LASIK can help.
Some surgeons remove tissue from one eye to allow that eye to have sharp distance vision. The other eye is optimized for close work. This monovision allows for visual acuity at almost all distances, and it can be quite effective.
In a study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers found that patients who had monovision were able to see well both near and far without correction, and they had good contrast sensitivity too. Results like this suggest that monovision LASIK could be a good choice, especially for people who need to perform close work as well as distance work. Ensuring one eye can always see clearly up close could be quite helpful for them.
Is LASIK a Good Option for People With Nearsightedness?
Since LASIK promises almost instantaneous vision correction, it’s a popular choice for many people. However, you may not qualify for LASIK.
Good candidates for LASIK meet these qualifications:
- Myopia readings of -8 diopters
- Adequate tear production
- Moderate to thick corneas
- Moderate to small pupil size
- Healthy eyes
LASIK is a permanent surgery. The tissues doctors remove do not come back, so your surgery will not wear off.
The success of LASIK is well documented. Unlike glasses and contacts, you won’t need to replace or maintain them with solutions and special cloths. Since you won’t touch your eyes regularly (as you will with contacts), your risk of infections is lower too.
Uncomfortable symptoms associated with myopia could also fade after LASIK, including the following:
- Blurred vision
- Eye strain
Your surgery fixes the underlying issues causing your myopia — a too-long eyeball. Your problems are permanently fixed and will not come back. Any future vision deterioration, such as age-related farsightedness, is unrelated to LASIK.
Alternatives to LASIK for Nearsightedness
Issues such as wide pupils or dry eyes could mean you don’t qualify for LASIK. If you don’t, alternatives to LASIK are available and could be a better choice.
Other options for myopia correction include the following:
- PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) involves reshaping your cornea with a laser. But your doctor accesses deeper tissues by scraping cornea away, instead of making a flap.
- LASEK (laser subepithelial keratomileusis) involves reshaping your cornea with a laser. But your doctor uses a tool called a trephine to access deeper tissues.
- Corrective lenses like glasses and contacts can be effective solutions for myopia. But these tools must be replaced periodically, and they come with infection and injury risks.
|Quick healing time and very little pain
|Allows for myopia correction even in people with thin corneas
|Allows for myopia correction even in people with high prescriptions and thin corneas
|Not permanent, so they can be replaced if your vision changes
LASIK for Nearsightedness Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. LASIK, PRK, and LASEK are all laser surgery solutions for people with myopia.
Yes. LASIK is a permanent surgical correction for myopia. It won’t wear off or fade with time.
Yes. LASIK is a surgical solution that fixes the root causes of myopia. After surgery, you won’t need glasses or contact lenses for everyday activities like driving.
No. Reducing the time you spend staring at electronic screens, ensuring you read in bright light, and paying attention to nutrition can help slow down myopia’s progression. But you can’t fix poor vision with DIY techniques.
- Myopia (Nearsightedness). American Optometric Association.
- Four-Year Visual, Refractive, and Contrast Sensitivity Outcomes After Wavefront-Guided Myopic LASIK Using an Advanced Excimer Laser Platform. (October 2013). Journal of Refractive Surgery.
- Visual Outcomes of LASIK-Induced Monovision in Myopic Patients with Presbyopia. (September 2010). American Journal of Ophthalmology.
- Outcomes of LASIK for Myopia or Myopic Astigmatism Correction With the FS200 Femtosecond Laser and EX500 Excimer Laser Platform. (May 2018). The Open Ophthalmology Journal.
- Eighteen-Year Prospective Audit of LASIK Outcomes for Myopia in 53 731 Eyes. (2019). British Journal of Ophthalmology.
- LASIK for Myopia and Astigmatism: Safety and Efficacy. (January 2023). American Academy of Ophthalmology.