Long-term Effects of Laser Eye Surgery

LASIK surgery has been performed since the development of adequate lasers for the procedure in 1999. Since then many patients have had laser eye surgery, with over 90% of patients satisfied with the overall outcome. Monitoring the patients who have had the procedure seems to show that once the eye is corrected, it should remain to be so permanently.

Contrary to this, it seems that some recent research suggests that the older you are, the poorer the outcomes will be for your reading vision. It has been shown that patients who have the procedure later on in life have good outcomes when viewing objects both up close and at a distance. However over time, these patients tend to lose the ability to see words on a page of a book or newspaper. This is called presbyopia and is due to the natural ageing process of the eye. Therefore patients who have had a laser eye surgery procedure but who have developed presbyopia will still be required to wear reading glasses, or have further corrective surgery such as lens replacements.

There are a number of corrective procedures available for you if you suffer from presbyopia. It is a very common condition and one of the most commonly used surgical procedures to correct the problem is clear lens exchange or CLE. This procedure involves removal of you own lens which is unable to focus images that are close to the eye. The surgeon who performs the operation usually makes a small incision in the side of your eye, which allows him to access the lens and safely remove it. Once the lens is removed, your vision will become blurry until the new lens is added in. There are a number of different replacement lenses available, the best one at the moment being true or accommodative intra-occular lenses. This procedure is relatively quick and simple.

There are also a number of other procedures that can correct presbyopia. These include laser blended vision, which uses a laser to reshape your cornea, so that it may once again focus images from objects that are close to you. Other less common procedures are monovision, which corrects one of your eyes for looking at objects that are close, whilst leaving the other to focus images from afar. This surgery does not suit everyone as it takes a while to adjust . A relatively new procedure known as conductive keratoplasty is being used to help patients who suffer from presbyopia. Just like laser blended vision, it involves using a laser to help shrink the cornea, allowing you to focus images from objects that are close to you once more.

Read alternatives to laser eye surgery. The next section will cover some of the risks that can occur when you have laser vision correction. 


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