Of course, if your vision can use further help, Lasik can be done again! I am surprised by how many of our patients are unaware that Lasik can be done again, so I would like to present you with some information.
The results of Lasik and PRK treatment are permanent, so the vast majority of our patients will never want or need to have Lasik done again. However, Lasik and PRK will not stop nature from doing what nature wants to do — Laser Vision Correction cannot stop us from getting older. Most people will retain great vision for distance for the rest of their lives after Laser Vision Correction and will not want to have any further treatment. But there are two situations in which our patients may want to have another Lasik treatment years later:
- Every person around the age of 45 starts to lose the ability to shift the focus from far to near objects. So if both eyes are adjusted perfectly for distance vision, at about the age of 45 we will begin to need reading glasses for near vision. This is not great, and we do not have a real cure. But we have a work-around solution that works for many, many people, which is called monovision or blended vision. In blended vision, one eye is adjusted for near vision and the other is left adjusted for distance vision. The brain learns which eye to focus on, and neither distance or near glasses are typically needed. So patients who had their distance vision corrected when they are younger, and who are now 45 or older, can have a Lasik to correct the near vision in just one eye.
Not everyone likes the feeling of blended vision, but many people not only like it, they love it. To some people it just sounds weird and they hesitate to even test it. Many people get monovision with their contact lenses. We can test you to determine if you are a person who will like blended vision, and only if testing shows that this is a great solution for you will you proceed with treatment. You may have been tested by another doctor and the blended vision did not work well, but I would very much like to encourage you to come in and let us try it for you. In our experience, we can get blended vision to work very well for many people who have tested blended vision in the past with other doctors and not been satisfied.
- Some people will have naturally-occurring aging changes to their vision that progress slowly over many years and cause the return of some nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. As long as these changes are mild, nothing needs to be done. If the changes become greater, you might want to get some help in seeing better. Glasses or contact lenses can of course be used, but after being glasses-free and contact lens-free for many years, another Lasik probably sounds like a better option. Maybe re-treatment is only needed in one eye. We estimate that around 5% of our patients will experience enough naturally-occuring aging change in their distance vision over many years that they might want to have another Lasik in the future. That is around 1 out of every 20 people. The second treatment is even easier than the first time and is highly effective in restoring wonderful vision.
Dr. Andrew Caster