While the majority of people who undergo LASIK treatment will not need glasses after surgery, some individuals may still require glasses for optimum vision. LASIK also does not protect against age-related vision changes, so it’s likely you may eventually need reading glasses.
If your vision is not clear enough after your LASIK treatment, you can wear glasses following surgery, but many patients opt for a LASIK enhancement procedure to correct what the initial surgery did not.
LASIK is one of the most common vision correction procedures available today and has improved the eyesight of millions of people in the United States alone. At around 800,000 treatments per calendar year, this treatment is widely viewed as effective, yielding desirable results.
Does LASIK Eliminate the Need for Glasses?
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, most individuals will not need to wear glasses or contact lenses after their LASIK procedure. However, in some cases, a second treatment will be necessary to achieve the ideal level of vision.
There are some patients who need sharp vision for their vocations who still may require the aid of glasses following treatment — people like aircraft pilots, surgeons, and others. People who need reading glasses might still need to wear them after their LASIK treatment as well.
When Glasses Are Necessary After LASIK
Most people who utilize LASIK surgery will not need glasses after their procedure. Studies suggest that patients ranging from 18 to 46 years old experienced a 98.5 percent satisfaction rate, with patients either satisfied or very satisfied with the outcome of their surgery.
Ideal candidates for LASIK are 18 and older and exhibit good overall eye health. Around 90 percent of LASIK patients end up having between 20/20 and 20/40 vision without wearing glasses or contacts.
LASIK does not correct presbyopia, which is a loss of close-up vision characterized as age-related. Reading glasses are often necessary even for individuals with excellent vision after age 40.
Can You Wear Contacts After LASIK?
For those who wear contact lenses, it is recommended that you stop wearing them before the baseline evaluation for LASIK and switch to glasses instead. Contact lenses alter your eye shape in a way that can often last several weeks after use.
LASIK is a procedure that generally changes the shape of the cornea in a significant way. As a result, fitting contact lenses onto the eye after LASIK surgery can often be more challenging than fitting contacts on a cornea that has not undergone LASIK surgery.
Individuals who have undergone LASIK may require special gas permeable or hybrid contact lenses. These are usually recommended by an eye doctor for those who still need to wear contacts after LASIK treatment.
Benefits of LASIK Even if You Still Need Some Vision Correction
LASIK benefits include clearer, better vision with a vast majority of patients experiencing permanently improved vision. Many patients who undergo LASIK treatment feel more independent on a daily basis and no longer have to worry about wearing glasses or contact lenses in order to do everyday activities.
As mentioned previously, LASIK does not prevent presbyopia, which occurs gradually and is age-related. In such cases, individuals might need to explore additional vision correction options to address vision loss that occurs as a result of getting older.
Glasses After LASIK FAQs
Do you need to wear glasses after LASIK?
Most people will not need to wear glasses after LASIK since they will achieve the desired level of vision correction via the surgery. If LASIK does not achieve the desired results, an enhancement or second LASIK procedure may be performed. LASIK does not prevent age-related vision deterioration, so patients may need reading glasses as they age.
Can you still wear glasses after LASIK?
Patients who undergo LASIK treatment can wear glasses after surgery. Generally, they will require a lower prescription. Some individuals who have jobs that require perfect eyesight may still need to wear glasses after LASIK treatment in order to perform essential job functions to satisfaction.
How long do you have to wear sunglasses after LASIK?
Patients who undergo LASIK treatment should wear sunglasses outdoors during the day for at least one week after surgery. This helps to protect the eyes as they heal since they are more sensitive during this time.
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LASIK: What You Should Know. (May 2017). American Academy of Family Physicians.
Functional Outcome and Patient Satisfaction After Laser in Situ Keratomileusis for Correction of Myopia and Myopic Astigmatism. (January 2015). Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology.
LASIK — Laser Eye Surgery. (October 2020). American Academy of Ophthalmology.
What Should I Expect Before, During, and After Surgery? (July 2018). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Determination of the Standard Visual Criterion for Diagnosing and Treating Presbyopia According to Subjective Patient Symptoms. (August 2021). Journal of Clinical Medicine.
Laser Eye Surgery: Provides Clarity for Active Duty Service Members. (March 2021). Defense Health Agency.
Last Updated August 9, 2022
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