If you’re tired of wearing glasses or contacts, you might consider laser eye surgery. LASIK is a long-lasting alternative to corrective lenses that can treat farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), and astigmatism. Before deciding to pursue surgery, you may be wondering about how effective it actually is.

Is LASIK permanent? How quickly can you expect to see results? Read on to learn more about this highly-innovative eye care solution.

What is LASIK eye surgery?

With perfect vision, the cornea of the eye bends light and sends it to the retina. If the cornea is not shaped correctly, the light gets misdirected. This is the cause of standard vision problems.

LASIK surgery uses a special laser to reshape the cornea into a precise dome. This allows the light to be properly refracted, leading to perfect or better-than-perfect vision. The entire process only takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Is LASIK permanent?

LASIK permanently reshapes the cornea, and for many patients, the results last forever. With that in mind, your eyes grow and change just like the rest of your body. The changes that occur in years to come may alter the effectiveness of laser eye surgery.

Only 1-2% of patients require re-treatment within the first year of LASIK surgery. After that, the percentage goes up approximately 1% per year. Roughly 20% of patients need a second LASIK procedure 20 years after the first treatment. Thus, the chances of you needing laser eye surgery more than once is quite low, even decades down the line.

How fast is LASIK recovery?

The recovery time for LASIK surgery varies from one patient to the next. Most patients see some vision changes immediately after surgery, but the full effects are not evident until they wake up the following morning. You should be able to return to work or school within a day or two of the surgery.