Can Eyesight Get Worse After LASIK?

LASIK provides permanent vision correction, allowing people to drive, read and more throughout their lives. We use a powerful laser to reshape the cornea, permanently addressing imperfections that causes vision problems. LASIK is permanent, but eyesight can and does change, even after laser surgery. There are many potential causes of eyesight changes after refractive surgery.

Progression of Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, or Astigmatism

The eye changes throughout your lifetime. When you go to the eye doctor and get a new, stronger prescription, it is a sign that your nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism is progressing. We often recommend that patients wait until adulthood so that vision can stabilize. Many patients choose to wait for LASIK surgery until their prescription hasn’t changed for a year. Changing vision is one reason why LASIK during pregnancy isn’t usually recommended.

Laser eye surgery corrects your vision at the time of your surgery, but any vision conditions you have may continue to progress. The good news is, these changes are usually minor and occur slowly over the course of many years. If your nearsightedness or farsightedness continue to progress after laser eye surgery, your vision will still be better than it would have been without surgery. We can perform a LASIK enhancement if vision changes are substantial or bother you.

Presbyopia- Everyone Gets It Eventually

One of the biggest causes of vision changes after laser eye surgery is presbyopia. This is an age-related condition that occurs as the lens in the eye stiffens and hardens. This makes it more difficult for the eye to focus on items that are up close. Holdings books and magazines arm’s distance from the eyes is an early sign of this progressive condition. Presbyopia happens to almost everyone and is a natural part of the aging process. Many patients begin to notice symptoms around age 40.

Presbyopia will occur whether you’ve had LASIK or not. And if you’ve achieved better vision through laser eye surgery, when presbyopia occurs, you may find your perfect vision isn’t so perfect anymore. This isn’t due to your LASIK and would have occurred with or without the surgery. Presbyopia can be treated with reading glasses, contact lenses, or surgery.


Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the eyes and some women report changes to their vision. These vision changes are often temporary and resolve shortly after pregnancy. Some women notice a lasting change in their vision. Many women that receive LASIK before pregnancy and experience vision changes will find that these resolve after pregnancy without additional surgery.

If you’re considering a future pregnancy, it may be prime time to receive laser vision correction. LASIK alleviates many of the uncomfortable eye symptoms of pregnancy. Dry eye is very common during the gestational period, and some women struggle with wearing contact lenses. Since LASIK eliminates the need for contacts in many patients, it can make pregnancy much more comfortable. Laser eye surgery is usually not recommended during pregnancy but can be safely performed prior to conception.

Your Eyesight after LASIK

Clearer vision is one of the many benefits of refractive surgery. Our patients delight in 20/20 vision and glasses-free living after their procedures. Many will never again require glasses or contacts. Your vision may change after surgery, but if it does, LASIK will still be a benefit. Changes in vision are typically minor, and most patients report better eyesight for a lifetime after their LASIK procedures. Call Will Vision and Laser Centers to schedule your LASIK consultation at one of our offices, conveniently located in the Pacific Northwest.

Of course, results after laser eye surgery do vary, but Dr. Will is known for achieving some of the best and most consistent results in the area. We have convenient offices in both Salem, OR and Vancouver, WA to serve patients throughout the Pacific Northwest.