Many people assume that LASIK is the be-all and end-all of vision care. They imagine a future filled with crystal-clear vision and absolutely no need for contacts or glasses. In reality, for a variety of reasons, this is rarely the actual outcome. Even if your eyesight remains stable, you will likely need reading glasses after LASIK. That doesn’t mean that LASIK typically fails to deliver results or that its results “wear off” over time. But even if your LASIK surgery provides perfect results, you may eventually need reading glasses to see nearby objects clearly. Scroll down to learn why this and what you can do about it.
Why You Might Need Reading Glasses After LASIK
First of all, it’s important to note that it’s not unusual for vision to regress after LASIK, necessitating the use of glasses or contacts. In addition, sometimes LASIK may cause long-term complications.
LASIK is not an ideal solution for everyone, so it’s important to discuss the procedure carefully with your eye doctor so that you better understand whether you’re a good candidate for the surgery and what you can expect afterward if you do elect to get LASIK.
But let’s get back to the topic at hand. Why might you need reading glasses after LASIK?
Presbyopia: A Natural Part of the Aging Process
As you grow older (especially as you reach age 40 and above), you will likely find it harder to see things up close. This is due to presbyopia, which is a natural part of the aging process that affects near vision. It occurs because the lens of the eye thickens over time, losing its natural flexibility. If your eyes’ lenses aren’t as flexible, they may struggle to change shape in order to focus on nearby objects. You might notice that close-up things are blurrier than before, and you may struggle to detect details in low-light situations. Whether or not you have LASIK, as you age, you will likely experience some degree of presbyopia and require reading glasses. LASIK will neither increase or decrease the likelihood of you someday needing reading glasses.
LASIK is not typically designed to treat presbyopia. Instead, it involves reshaping the cornea to correct distance vision and/or astigmatism. However, there are options available if you want to see clearly without reading glasses:
- Monovision LASIK: With this method, vision will be fully corrected in only one eye. The other will be intentionally left nearsighted. This way, the patient will be able to see long-distance objects clearly with one eye and nearby objects clearly with the other eye. Although this might sound like a dizzying solution, the brain can adapt to the change, making it feel comfortable and natural.
- Multifocal LASIK: If you’ve heard of multifocal eyeglasses, you’ll understand the idea behind this technique. The eye surgeon reshapes the cornea to resemble a multifocal eyeglass lens. However, it’s important to note that this procedure can cause irreversible vision problems like glares and halos.
- Corneal Inlays: If you have farsightedness caused by presbyopia, an eye surgeon can use this procedure to create a small pocket in the middle of one of your eye’s cornea. A small device (known as a corneal inlay or implant) is placed in the pocket, which heals on its own.
Reading glasses are a common part of aging for most people, whether or not they’ve had a LASIK procedure. To better understand your vision correction options, talk to an eye doctor or eye surgeon.
Stop by Heffington’s if you live in southwest Missouri. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an email to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!