What Can LASIK Eye Surgery Correct?

LASIK is performed to correct the refractive errors of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK corrects the corneal shape that causes these refractive errors so light can focus directly on the retina. Clear vision is the result for many patients.

Nearsightedness (Myopia)

Nearsighted individuals have problems seeing well at a distance. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye and its cornea may also be steeper. When light passes through the cornea and lens, it focuses in front of the retina, causing blurry distance vision.

Farsightedness (Hyperopia)

Farsighted individuals have difficulty with close-up vision. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye and may have a flatter cornea. Light focuses behind the retina, causing close-up images to be blurry.


When the cornea or natural lens is asymmetric, light is focused unevenly, causing images at all distances to look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism is very common and it can accompany nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Reading Glasses and LASIK

In children and young adults, the lens inside the eye can easily focus on distant and near objects. With age, the lens becomes less flexible, creating problems seeing up close. This is called presbyopia, and it is the main reason most people over age 45 need reading glasses. LASIK does not correct presbyopia because it is not a refractive error. For presbyopic patients, there is no surgical procedure that will restore both near and distance vision without glasses in the same eye. However, “blended vision,” or monovision, is an excellent alternative. With blended vision/monovision, one eye is corrected to give excellent distance vision while the other is left slightly nearsighted to provide good near vision.

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