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Will I Need Glasses or Contacts After LASIK? -The Benefits of LASIK in Long Beach Part 2

At Lucent Vision, our mission is to deliver the benefits of clear unaided vision with a personalized 5-star experience. We want you to see how wonderful life can be when you don’t have a passing thought about your glasses or contact lens. With refractive surgery, you can own clear vision rather than just renting it.

Is reduced dependence on glasses a benefit of LASIK?

What percent of people need glasses after LASIK?

A review from 2016 in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery demonstrated that about 99.5% of patients were able to see well enough to pass the DMV test without glasses after LASIK. Visual acuity of 20/40 is needed to see well enough to drive, according to most DMV branches. Nonetheless, this review was done even before the most recent developments in laser surgery. Our own data show that over 99% of candidates do not feel the need to wear glasses after the LASIK medical procedure.

See the first article in the LASIK Benefits series: LASIK Vision Improvement.
See the next article in the LASIK Benefits series: What is Custom LASIK?

Do you still need readers after LASIK?

Patients over the age of 40 may require the use of reading glasses after LASIK surgery. People in this age group have usually been diagnosed with a condition called presbyopia which can be found on a routine eye examination. Presbyopia refers to a progressive difficulty with seeing near objects due to an age-related stiffening of the natural lens inside of the human eye. The most common signs and symptoms of presbyopia include difficulty with reading texts on your phone or difficulty with performing your work on a computer.

The need for an eyeglass prescription can be minimized if you are suffering from presbyopia. The first option to address this problem is performing a blended vision LASIK procedure where one of your eyes is intended to be stronger with far-distance targets while the other one is stronger for near-distance targets. For most candidates, this may result in a more broad range of vision and a reduction in reading glasses use. The second option is a procedure called Refractive Lens Exchange (hyperlink to Refractive Lens Exchange Page). This form of vision correction surgery uses cutting-edge lens technology to correct refractive errors such as astigmatism, far-sightedness, and even presbyopia. Please visit our Refractive Lens Exchange FAQ for more information.

Does LASIK improve vision more than glasses?

Many candidates for laser vision correction wear glasses to reduce the blurry vision that is caused by near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism. These refractive errors can be corrected to some degree by glasses. But your visual perception is also influenced by other factors such as trefoil, spherical aberration, and other “higher-order aberrations,” which are errors in light transmission that occur at the level of the cornea. With our modern wavefront LASIK technology, we are able to correct these “higher-order aberrations” with a high degree of accuracy and precision. Research shows that patients with these advanced laser treatments report an improvement of their vision even more than their glasses prescription would allow.

Do bladeless LASIK and wavefront-guided LASIK improve your LASIK outcomes and lessen your need for glasses?

In the previous generation of conventional LASIK, many surgeons were using a microkeratome (a type of small blade) to perform LASIK eye surgery. In addition, these treatments were based on refraction that was performed in the office. A refraction is a measurement of the glasses prescription needed to give you more clear distance image.

With all-laser LASIK, an FDA-approved femtosecond laser is utilized to create a very precise flap on the corneal tissue. Then the excimer laser gently alters the corneal shape to fix any refractive errors. As it tracks your pupil, the excimer laser uses wavefront technology to correct any of the imperfections or “higher-order aberrations” in your cornea. This combination of lasers delivers the best outcome with minimal risk.

Do LASIK patients experience reduced dependence on contact lenses?

Does LASIK give you better vision than contacts?

Contact lenses can temporarily correct refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. But there are other corneal imperfections called “higher-order aberrations” that cannot be properly addressed with contact lens use. When modern all laser LASIK is performed at Lucent Vision, these “higher-order aberrations” are corrected during your procedure. Most patients who are accustomed to wearing contact lenses find that their vision following LASIK is even better than their previous vision in contacts.

Of note, chronic contact lens use can compromise your eye health and predispose you to dry eye syndrome and eye infections.

Does wearing contacts affect LASIK?

Chronic contact lens use can artificially warp the shape of your cornea. During your pre-operative evaluation, we will perform a corneal topography and tomography to build a three-dimensional model of your cornea. You may not be a good candidate for laser vision correction if your cornea appears to be abnormal in shape or if you have signs of dry eye syndrome. In order to optimize your eye health for the procedure, your surgeon may ask you to refrain from contact lens use, and you may also need dry eye treatment.

We also ask that you refrain from contact lens use for at least 1 to 2 weeks prior to your vision correction procedure. The shape of your cornea needs to be in its natural state in order for our wavefront technology to accurately treat your cornea.

How have advanced LASIK techniques improved outcomes and patient satisfaction while reducing dependence on contact lenses?

Corrected vision from custom LASIK (also known as wavefront-optimized or wavefront-guided LASIK) allows our patients to have excellent outcomes that make contact lenses unnecessary. Our current LASIK technique involves a very thin corneal flap, which allows for a rapid healing process and a lower risk of complications. During the actual laser treatment, the interaction of your eye with light rays is analyzed in real-time by the Alcon Wavelight laser. Every eye is like a fingerprint, and the laser treatment is customized to fit the “fingerprint” of your eye. This type of customized treatment delivers excellent distance vision, along with a reduction in night vision problems that have been seen in conventional LASIK treatments in the past. You will also be provided the medicated eye drops that will accelerate your recovery.

Is LASIK considered a low-maintenance alternative to contact lenses or glasses?

Does LASIK need maintenance?

If you wear contact lenses or glasses for your visual impairments, an annual eye exam with an eye doctor is usually necessary to update your glasses. Patients will typically need to commit time and money to this type of maintenance. If you are considering LASIK, you should know that your outstanding laser vision correction results will usually last for many years. As your eyes age over time, there may be a change in your vision over the course of several years. Occasionally, if these changes make you feel blurry, you may benefit from an enhancement procedure to address any of this blurred vision.

How does LASIK provide freedom from the limitations imposed by glasses or contact lenses during physical activities or sports?

If you are an athlete, then you know all too well how the use of glasses can make physical activities more challenging. Your glasses can fall off your face, they can get fogged up, or they can make it harder for you to see at certain angles or shades of light. Even though contact lenses may be better for some physical activities, they, too, have their limitations and drawbacks. If you are a swimmer, the contact lenses can be lost underwater. Contact lenses can also cause irritation and dryness on the surface of your eyes, which can make it harder for you to focus on your physical activities.

Many physical activities, such as running, biking, hiking, and weightlifting, can be resumed within a few days after LASIK. We typically recommend avoiding swimming and contact sports for the first week after your actual procedure. Many LASIK patients tell us that they truly enjoy playing sports without the restrictions of glasses and contact lenses.

Is it better to wear glasses or contacts or get LASIK?

A recent article in the American Academy of Ophthalmology journal found that compared with contact lens wear, modern LASIK delivered higher levels of satisfaction and improved night vision at 1, 2, and 3 years of follow-up.

Contact lenses have their own potential risks. Clinical studies down in ophthalmology clinics over the last 25 years have shown that long-term contact lens use can increase your risk of corneal infections that can cause pain and vision loss. The risk of a serious corneal infection is many times less with LASIK than with chronic contact lens usage. Not only is LASIK a safe surgical procedure that can give you freedom from vision correction devices like contact lenses and glasses, but in the long term, it is a safer option than contact lens usage.

Experience the Benefits of Improved Vision with LASIK in Long Beach at Lucent Vision

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Dr. Nimesh Pathak is a board-certified ophthalmologist who has dedicated his career to vision correction procedures such as LASIK and premium cataract surgery. He has given thousands of patients visual freedom in pursuit of his goal to deliver the benefits of clear vision with a personalized experience.

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