What are the best methods to prevent regression after LASIK?

Doctor's Answers (4)

Regression refers to the return of some amount of spectacle power that had been originally treated by the refractive procedure. It can happen after any refractive surgery, eg LASIK, epi-LASIK/PRK/TransPRK, ICL, and cataract surgery.

To put things in perspective, when patients have been thoroughly checked and found to be suitable for LASIK, regression is an unusual thing to happen. And even if it happens, such regression is of a low degree, and is often low enough that glasses are usually not necessary.

The best method to prevent regression? This is to make sure the spectacle power is stable before going for the refractive surgery. It is also the reason why such surgery as LASIK is not performed on children, because their spectacle power is almost always not stable yet.

Besides this, there isn't really anything that you could say is proven beyond doubt in large studies to be particularly effective in preventing regression.

Perhaps for those at higher risk of regression, such as where the spectacle power to be treated is very high, LASIK with simultaneous corneal crosslinking treatment may help to keep the post LASIK spectacle power stable.

Also as a general rule of thumb, I would advise everyone in general (including those who have not had eye surgery) to refrain from rubbing the eyes hard.

And even though many worry that excessive near work after LASIK, such as with computer use, may cause regression, the good news is that there is no good evidence for this either. So no, you don't have to particularly curtail computer use in an effort to prevent regression, as long as the other things such as age and prior stability of spectacle power apply in your case.

And just a final thought. A little bit of myopic regression in one eye may even be a good thing for those approaching 40 years of age, since this could delay the need to wear reading glasses!

Thankfully most of your activities that you engage in post-Lasik do not increase the risk of regression.
 
Regression risk is usually related to:
  • cornea thickness pre and post-Lasik
  • pre-surgery degree of myopia, and
  • the amount of corneal tissue removed during the primary Lasik procedure
The general advice post-Lasik surgery would be to:
  1. use your eyedrops as instructed by your attending Ophthalmologist
  2. use lubricants as needed, and
  3. avoid rubbing your eyes unnecessarily.
Best of luck with your surgery!
E-Shawn Goh
Dr David Chan
5.0

"Ophthalmologist with over 20 years of experience"

Regression refers to the eye returning back to its original state. Just to clarify, LASIK is a permanent surgery that removes tissue from your cornea thus the eyes technically will not revert to its original state. Although rare, it is still possible for your vision to change after a refractive surgery.+

Here are some ways to lessen the risk of regression after LASIK.

  1. Ensure your prescription has stabilised proceeding with surgery
  2. Using prescribed post operative medicated eyedrops diligently
  3. Studies have shown that patients with higher prescription or astigmatism have a higher risk of regression. You may be on medication longer post-lasers or your doctor may recommend you to go for collagen cross-linking to further strengthen your cornea. It is important to discuss with your ophthalmologist to find out your risk of regression before surgery

It is important to note that the eye is a living thing and that having LASIK does not make it less vulnerable to ageing and wear and tear.

After LASIK, try to hold your reading material further away, e.g. at 40cm, so that the internal muscles of the eye are not straining too much due to a close distance. Also, take a break from near work eg reading and PC every 45 minutes, look far away out of the window for a break of 10 minutes to relax your eye muscles. This will prevent myopia regression post LASIK.

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