Why Eye Surgery Isn’t Forever: How Vision Changes With Age
It’s no secret that our eyes and visual needs change throughout our lives. As we grow older, our eyes exhibit changes, many of which are perfectly normal and don’t signify disease, but rather a natural progression as a part of the aging process.
And as our eyes change, a common response increasingly includes surgical techniques aimed at restoring vision and reducing dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
A surgical procedure to correct a vision issue is more common than ever before. So, it’s natural to feel as though a vision correction procedure will last a lifetime. The truth, however, is that as we age, we may require more than one surgery to achieve the vision results we want. It’s actually quite common to have more than one type of eye surgery over time. Eye surgery isn’t forever, and here’s why:
In Our 30s and 40s:
While many adults under age 40 enjoy healthy eyes and good vision, over 60% need glasses or contact lenses to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.[i] In fact, one of the most common eye procedures sought by people in their 30s and 40s is laser eye surgery (such as LASIK) to correct visual acuity.
Laser eye surgery can be effective in correcting vision, but it’s good to understand that our eyes will continue to change over time. Just as it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect one pair of glasses to last a lifetime, the same applies to laser eye surgery. With age, most people will develop other conditions that, while quite natural, will likely require some type of vision correction.
In our 50s:
By the time we reach age 50, most of us have begun to experience the effects of presbyopia, difficulty focusing on objects up close. This is because the lens of the eye becomes less flexible over time and unable to change shape in order to focus on up close objects. Eventually, nearly everyone will need to compensate for the decline of near vision by using reading glasses or contact lenses.
Even those who previously underwent laser eye surgery can (and likely will) develop presbyopia. Fortunately for those who seek a more permanent solution to the loss of near vision, there are surgical options available, one being monovision LASIK (correcting distance vision in one eye and near vision in the other eye).
In our 60s and beyond:
Another very common age-related eye condition is known as cataracts. As we age, typically after age 60, the proteins in our eyes begin to break down and clump together, forming cloudy spots on the eye’s natural lens. This is known as a cataract. While they are typically slow growing, cataracts do get worse over time, eventually causing symptoms like blurry vision, faded colors, and seeing halos around lights, making it difficult to drive after dark.
Most people eventually develop cataracts regardless of whether or not they have previously had laser eye surgery or presbyopia correction.
Fortunately, cataracts are readily corrected with cataract surgery. (Read more about cataract surgery after LASIK here.) Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the eye’s natural lens, which has become clouded, and replace it with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens, or IOL. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the world.
The IC-8 lens advantage
If you’ve been diagnosed with a cataract, discuss the best lens replacement option for you with your doctor. The IC-8 lens offers many advantages over traditional monofocal and multifocal IOLs. It is designed to provide a natural range of vision from near to far, including mid-range vision needed to read a computer screen. With the IC-8 lens, one may achieve continuous and seamless vision at all distances. Learn more about the IC-8 lens
Just as our hair and skin change as we age, so do our eyes. But technology is making it easier to correct many kinds of visual issues. Eye surgery may not be forever, but there are more options than ever before – at every age!