Do I Need Eye Exams After LASIK?
Yes, you definitely still need eye exams after LASIK surgery.
In addition to making sure your vision remains stable, routine comprehensive eye exams are needed to check and safeguard the health of your eyes.
In particular, eye exams are required to check for serious vision-threatening eye problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic eye disease. LASIK does not increase your risk of getting these problems but it doesn't decrease your risk either, so routine eye exams are just as important after LASIK as they were before the procedure to rule them out or detect them early so they can be managed appropriately.
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Since LASIK surgery alters the shape and thickness of the front surface of the eye, it also is important to have routine eye exams after LASIK to monitor the health of your cornea, including ruling out any tendency for keratoconus. (If caught early, keratoconus and other corneal stability problems usually can be successfully managed with a procedure called corneal collagen cross-linking.)
Unless your eye doctor recommends more frequent exams, you should have your eyes checked yearly after LASIK to keep them in top shape.
You should avoid rubbing your eyes after LASIK surgery; aggressive eye rubbing may increase your risk of corneal thinning or keratoconus. (This is true regardless whether or not you've had LASIK, but aggressive eye rubbing also could potentially affect the stability of the corneal flap created during LASIK surgery.)
Also, be sure to wear quality sunglasses that shield your eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays, which have been associated with cataracts, macular degeneration and cancer of the eye and surrounding tissues.
[Page updated September 2016]