Many laser eye surgery candidates wonder if they will need to see their eye doctor for an annual exam following their LASIK procedures. After all, most will no longer require glasses or contact lenses. However, while your vision may be 20/20 or better following your LASIK procedure, it is still important to visit your eye care professional once a year for a routine checkup to maintain the health of your eyes.
In addition to assessing eyesight and prescribing eye glasses or contacts, optometrists are trained to look for eye diseases and conditions that can threaten vision and overall health, including cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and others. Serious eye diseases, such as glaucoma, often have no symptoms at all until permanent vision loss occurs. A yearly visit to your eye doctor is your best defense against possible future debilitating eye diseases—whether you have had LASIK or not.
Who needs an eye exam?
It is especially important for patients who have diabetes, cancer or other chronic medical conditions to have their eyes examined annually, particularly those who are taking medications that may affect the eyes.
Even after successful LASIK surgery, some people may require future enhancements or glasses for activities such as reading or driving, as eyesight may deteriorate as part of the natural aging process. Your eye doctor will be able discuss your options with you and work with your LASIK surgeon, if necessary, to ensure your continued satisfaction with your LASIK procedure.
Additionally, some patients may experience dry eyes or eye discomfort brought on by allergies. Your eye doctor can prescribe eye drops to relieve these symptoms so you can enjoy the benefits of your LASIK surgery to the fullest.
Finally, if your LASIK center or surgeon offers a lifetime commitment on your laser-corrected vision results, you may be required to have an annual eye exam to remain eligible for future enhancements.
Eye exams for long-term eye health
By electing to have LASIK eye surgery, you have made the decision to invest in your best possible eyesight. Annual visits to your optometrist can help you to reap the benefits this investment for years to come. Remember, your eye doctor knows your eyes better than anyone else—make her your partner in healthy vision for life.