Updated on  February 20, 2024
4 min read

How Long Does LASIK Last?

7 sources cited
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LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a permanent laser eye surgery that corrects your current vision prescription. The effects won’t wear off over time.

You may know someone who had to wear glasses after getting LASIK and wonder if this means the effects wore off. While it’s true that some people need their vision corrected after refractive surgery, this isn’t because of LASIK results wearing off.

However, normal aging or the development of a new vision condition can affect your ability to see clearly. These conditions may require additional vision correction after LASIK.

This article explains how long LASIK lasts and describes common vision problems that can necessitate an additional need for treatment. 

How Long Does LASIK Last? 

The effects of LASIK typically last about 20 years to a lifetime. This depends on the age you undergo surgery and the long-term health of your eyes.

Some people who have had LASIK may experience vision issues years after surgery. This might require interventions such as retreatment or LASIK enhancement.

Will You Need Glasses or Contacts After LASIK?

Most people don’t need glasses or contact lenses to correct nearsightedness after they get LASIK. 

As you approach your mid-40s, you may need to wear reading glasses to help your eyes focus on small print. Problems with close-up vision in adults over 40 are usually due to a condition called presbyopia.  

Presbyopia and cataracts are common conditions that result from age-related changes to the lenses in your eyes. People with these conditions may need glasses to enhance visual acuity. 

These natural changes aren’t related to LASIK. The LASIK procedure involves reshaping your corneal tissue, not the lens.

6 Common Reasons for Vision Changes After LASIK 

Although the outcomes of LASIK are permanent, you can experience vision changes years later. In most cases, the cause is unrelated to the initial surgery.

A comprehensive eye exam before and after LASIK can help detect underlying conditions that may cause vision changes in the future. 

Common reasons for vision changes after LASIK include:

1. Presbyopia (Age-Related Farsightedness)

Presbyopia is the most common cause of vision changes after LASIK. As you age, your eye lens becomes less flexible, causing blurry vision when you look at objects up close.

Most people with presbyopia need to wear reading glasses. However, a version of LASIK known as monovision LASIK can eliminate this need.4

Monovision LASIK involves correcting one eye for distance vision and the other for near vision.

2. Cataracts

Cataract development is part of the aging process. It’s characterized by the clouding of the eye lens.

A clouded eye lens results in the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Halos and glares around lights
  • Double vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Vision loss (severe cataracts)

The condition worsens with time, requiring lens replacement. Your surgeon might recommend a lens replacement procedure such as cataract surgery to restore your eyesight.5

3. Keratoconus

Keratoconus is the gradual thinning and bulging of your cornea, the clear front layer of your eye. Someone with keratoconus has a cone-shaped cornea and may experience problems with their vision.

Keratoconus commonly affects young people and progresses over several years. If you have keratoconus, your surgeon will not recommend LASIK surgery, as it may result in complications.

If mild keratoconus goes undetected before LASIK surgery, it can cause vision changes years after.

4. Diabetes

People who have diabetes are prone to diabetic retinopathy. This condition affects the blood vessels in the retina (the light-sensitive area of the eye) and can cause vision loss.

You can prevent diabetic retinopathy by effectively managing your diabetes through healthy eating, staying active, and keeping up with medications.

5. Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is an eye condition that causes blurred vision or reduced central vision. It’s characterized by thinning of the macula, the part of the retina responsible for clear vision.6 

Macular degeneration can affect one or both eyes. It typically occurs in people over 50.

6. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, hormonal changes can affect your vision regardless of whether you’ve had LASIK.

For example, fluid buildup in the body, including your eyes, may change the shape of your cornea. This can cause vision changes. You may also experience dry eyes during pregnancy, affecting your vision.

Visual changes during pregnancy are usually only temporary and may not require a prescription change or LASIK retreatment.

What to Do if Vision Worsens After LASIK 

Consult your eye doctor if your vision worsens after LASIK. They will conduct an eye examination to determine the root cause of your vision issue. They will also recommend appropriate treatment.

LASIK enhancement might be necessary if your cornea is in good shape for retreatment. If you don’t qualify for enhancement, your doctor may recommend:


LASIK surgery is a permanent solution to refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Most people experience great vision after undergoing the procedure.

The effects of LASIK can last up to 20 years to a lifetime. Age-related vision changes, pregnancy, and the development of eye diseases can reduce your visual acuity after LASIK.

If you notice vision changes after LASIK surgery, consult your doctor for necessary intervention.

Updated on  February 20, 2024
7 sources cited
Updated on  February 20, 2024
  1. Bamashmus MA, et al. “Functional Outcome and Patient Satisfaction after Laser In Situ Keratomileusis for Correction of Myopia and Myopic Astigmatism.” Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology, 2015.

  2. Ide T, et al. “Outcome of a 10-year follow-up of laser in situ laser keratomileusis for myopia and myopic astigmatism.” Taiwan Journal of Ophthalmology, 2014.

  3. Presbyopia.” Mayo Clinic, 2021.

  4. Warren, N, et al. “Monovision LASIK.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2023.

  5. Christenbury, J, et al. “Implantable Collamer Lens.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2022.

  6. Dry macular degeneration.” Mayo Clinic, 2022. Naderan M. “Ocular changes during pregnancy.” Journal of Current Ophthalmology, 2018.

  7. Naderan M. “Ocular changes during pregnancy.” Journal of Current Ophthalmology, 2018.

The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.