Is LASIK Permanent?

Dr. Robert Dinga

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a widely popular corrective eye surgery that reshapes the cornea to improve vision. LASIK offers a permanent solution for individuals struggling with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Unlike contact lenses or glasses that require frequent replacement or adjustments, LASIK offers a long-term vision correction strategy.

Understanding the Permanence of LASIK

The cornea is the transparent dome-shaped structure at the front of the eye responsible for focusing light rays onto the retina. During LASIK surgery, a femtosecond laser creates a precise corneal flap. The underlying corneal tissue is then reshaped using an excimer laser to correct refractive errors. Once the reshaping is complete, the corneal flap is repositioned and heals naturally, without stitches.

The key to LASIK’s permanence lies in the reshaping of the corneal tissue. The changes made to the cornea’s curvature during LASIK are permanent. This means that the achieved improvement in vision is long-lasting and does not require reversal.

LASIK vs. Temporary Vision Correction Methods

While LASIK offers a long-term solution, other vision correction methods provide temporary fixes. Here’s a comparison:

  • Contact Lenses: Contact lenses require daily cleaning, replacement, and can cause eye infections with improper use.
  • Eyeglasses: Eyeglasses can become uncomfortable, inconvenient, and may not fully correct peripheral vision.
  • Orthokeratology: This technique involves wearing rigid gas permeable lenses overnight to reshape the cornea temporarily. However, the effects are not permanent, and consistent lens wear is necessary to maintain corrected vision.
glasses and contacts

LASIK and Age-Related Vision Changes

It’s important to understand that LASIK corrects refractive errors present at the time of surgery. As we age, most people experience a gradual decrease in near vision, known as presbyopia. This is a natural part of the aging process and is not caused by LASIK. Presbyopia typically begins around age 40 and can be addressed with reading glasses or bifocals.

Similarly, LASIK does not prevent cataracts, a clouding of the natural lens of the eye that can occur later in life. Cataracts are treated with a surgical procedure to replace the clouded lens with a clear artificial lens.

LASIK: A Long-Term Investment in Your Vision

LASIK surgery offers an effective approach to achieving long-term freedom from glasses and contact lenses. The permanence of the corneal reshaping provides lasting vision correction for most individuals. If you’re considering LASIK, consult with an experienced ophthalmologist to determine if you’re a suitable candidate for this vision correction procedure.


How Long Does LASIK Last? Is LASIK Temporary or Permanent? (2022, August 11). Refractive Surgery Council.

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