LASIK for Farsightedness
LASIK can offer a permanent vision correction solution for people with farsightedness.
Hyperopia (commonly referred to as farsightedness) is quite common as far as vision conditions go, especially among adult-aged individuals.
Those who are farsighted generally have trouble viewing objects that are close in proximity, causing them to squint in order to see more clearly. Someone with farsightedness might experience eye strain when doing everyday activities like computer work, writing, reading, and drawing.
Many individuals with farsightedness wear glasses or contact lenses. LASIK is another option for those with farsightedness looking for a more long-term solution to their vision problems.
Farsightedness & LASIK
Hyperopia occurs when the eyeball is shorter in length than it normally should be. It can also occur if the cornea has too little curvature.
LASIK is a good option for vision correction for standard farsightedness. Depending on candidacy for treatment, LASIK can help improve age-related farsightedness (presbyopia). Many individuals with farsightedness do not have to wear contact lenses or glasses after undergoing LASIK surgery.
However, some individuals may still have to wear glasses or wear contacts to perform certain functions or actions after LASIK. How well LASIK works will depend on the individual in question and a variety of health factors. Ask your eye surgeon what kind of outcomes you can expect in your situation.
How LASIK for Farsightedness Works
There are more than a few forms of refractive surgery that utilize laser technology. LASIK is the most commonly known and most frequently performed. Its success rates are among the highest of any elective procedure available today.
When an individual undergoes a LASIK procedure, an experienced surgeon assesses the measurements of the eye and performs an overall eye health assessment.
During LASIK surgery, a specific kind of cutting laser is utilized that will precisely change the curvature of the cornea. The laser beam emits a pulse that removes a small amount of tissue. The reshaping of the cornea allows for improved vision.
Additional techniques can be applied, depending on patient needs and circumstances.
An eye surgeon might specialize in specific types of laser eye procedures, so it’s important to make sure that your eye surgeon has extensive experience performing LASIK surgeries.
How LASIK Corrects Farsightedness
Farsightedness and blurred vision can be corrected by bending (refracting) light rays when it comes to wearing traditional glasses or contact lenses. However, LASIK involves reshaping the cornea, which is dome-shaped tissue located at the front of the eye.
LASIK results in permanent vision correction. It doesn’t prevent future vision changes, however. If you are farsighted with a stable prescription, LASIK can correct this, but you may still develop age-related farsightedness later in life and need reading glasses.
LASIK has a very high success rate. According to a study published in the Open Ophthalmology Journal, 90 percent of patients treated with LASIK achieved uncorrected distance visual acuity that is better than 20/20. The same source asserted that 98.8 percent of patients achieved better than 20/40 vision.
LASIK has been around since the late 1990s, and there is plenty of data supporting an extremely high success rate for this procedure. The fact that LASIK utilizes ultra-precise lasers that eliminate human hand error is likely responsible for this high success rate.
As far as adverse events go, very few patients experience negative results. Most common adverse events include dry eyes that can last up to six months, which can be alleviated with artificial tears.
There is a risk of further vision loss after surgery, but this is not generally due to the procedure itself. It is instead due to impact after the procedure while the eye is still healing, but even then, this is incredibly rare.
Eye infections can occur, which is why individuals who experience frequent eye infections will generally not be considered a good candidate for LASIK. Like any other surgical procedure, LASIK does not have a 100 percent success rate, and LASIK complications can occur in rare instances.
But overall, this procedure is widely considered safe and effective with a low risk of complications.
Can LASIK Correct Presbyopia: Age-Related Farsightedness?
Presbyopia, commonly referred to as age-related farsightedness, can also be treated with the LASIK procedure.
Age-related farsightedness often starts to occur in individuals in their 40s. It can actively and progressively worsen until the condition sort of levels off when a person enters their 60s.
Although LASIK can improve vision when it comes to age-related farsightedness, this procedure cannot prevent age-related farsightedness from occurring. For instance, individuals who undergo the LASIK procedure in their 20s may still develop age-related farsightedness as they advance in age.
A specific technique called monovision is often used with LASIK to address presbyopia. In such cases, a trial is conducted, either with glasses or contacts, in order to gauge if a patient can acclimate to having one eye adjusted for distance vision and the other eye adjusted for near vision. If the trial is successful, the patient can proceed with the procedure. For most people, this is a viable solution for both near and far vision.
Alternatives to LASIK for Farsightedness
There are various alternatives to LASIK surgery for those who are either not an eligible candidate or do not wish to proceed with LASIK for other reasons but still want to improve vision and quality of life.
Primary alternatives to LASIK include the following:
- Phakic intraocular lens implants
- Refractive lens exchange surgery
LASEK is less invasive, and there is less of a risk of infection. A laser is not used in this procedure until it is time to reshape the cornea. No corneal flap is created during LASEK.
LASEK is generally considered when a patient’s corneas are too thin for traditional LASIK.
Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants
Artificial lenses made of either plastic or silicone can be implanted into the eye, resulting in permanent vision correction. These lenses can also be removed at any time after the procedure.
This procedure is marked by a fast recovery time. Patients are usually fine to resume normal activities within 24 hours of the procedure.
Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery
Refractive lens exchange surgery involves laser technology. The natural eye lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. After this procedure, an individual’s ability to focus will generally improve.
The Future of LASIK for Farsightedness
While LASIK was originally developed to correct nearsightedness, it has come a long way in correcting farsightedness over the years. It’s likely in coming years more advancements will be made in its ability to effectively correct presbyopia and other forms of farsightedness.
Lasik as a Solution for High Hypermetropia. (June 2019). Journal of the Academy of Medical Sciences in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
LASIK Surgery. (November 2020). Voices in Bioethics.
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.
Quality of Vision and Quality of Life With LASIK. (November 2021). ClinicalTrials.gov.
Lasik as a Solution for High Hypermetropia. (June 2019). Medical Archives.
Anatomical and Visual Outcomes after LASIK Performed in Myopic Eyes with the WaveLight® Refractive Suite (Alcon® Laboratories Inc., USA). (October 2020). Journal of Ophthalmology.
Results of Presbyopia Correction With Multifocal Profile Application on the Cornea by Photorefractive Keratectomy in Hyperopic Patients. (2017). Ophthalmology Journal.
Last Updated January 10, 2023
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