LASIK is one of the most popular and most commonly performed eye procedures performed worldwide, and in Singapore where the risk of myopia is significantly greater, the number of people who undergo the procedure is especially high. The reason for the procedure’s popularity is clear: Multiple clinical studies have demonstrated LASIK is safe and effective – at least for short-term vision improvements.
But what happens over the long-term? The results have not been as apparent. The lack of data about long-term results is due to the fact that the procedure has not been around for a long time, and as a result, there haven’t been large, consistent populations from which to gather long-term data. However, now that LASIK has a longer history as an established procedure, those long-term data have begun rolling in – and the results look good.
10+ Years of Positive Results
Several studies have looked at larger populations who had surgery 10 or more years previously and found that the results have been largely positive. One study of 70 patients from Spain, for instance, reviewed both subjective patient reports of satisfaction as well as objective measurements of vision and corneal health and found the overall results extremely positive even 10 years – and longer – after having had the procedure.
Studies have found similarly encouraging data for both LASEK and Epi-LASIK as well. One recent study from researchers in Turkey found both procedures offered “safe and effective correction” for myopia, using follow-up data with a mean duration of about four years. Even patients with higher levels of myopia fared well, according to the data.
Making the Choice
That doesn’t mean LASIK, LASEK or Epi-LASIK are ideal for everyone; there are still limitations and risks, including dry eye and visual effects like halo or glare. Still, the latest round of long-term data is one more factor weighing in favor of at least considering eye surgery to correct vision problems like myopia.
The most important step to take in considering any of these procedures is having a complete and thorough eye exam from a skilled and reputable care provider with ample experience in the surgery they recommend. Be sure to ask lots of questions, including asking about their own results and patients satisfaction levels, so you feel completely confident before moving forward with your own plans for vision-correcting surgery.