Having LASIK surgery can free you from the need to wear glasses day in and day out. However, if you already wear reading glasses, you may need to keep wearing them after surgery. And if you don't already wear reading glasses, there is a chance you may develop the need for them post-surgery at some point. You should not let this fact deter you from getting LASIK surgery, but it is something to be aware of. Keep reading to learn more about the need for reading glasses post-LASIK.

Why won't LASIK reverse a current need for reading glasses?

LASIK is a procedure that focuses on reshaping the cornea in a way that alleviates nearsightedness. In other words, it is very good at correcting your distance vision. If you wear glasses to more clearly see items that are far away, then LASIK will correct that, and you will no longer need to wear glasses to drive, see the chalkboard, or navigate your daily life. 

What LASIK does not do is correct presbyopia, the condition that most often leads to a need for reading glasses. Presbyopia is a normal part of the aging process, and it has to do with a loss of elasticity in certain structures of the eye. LASIK does not address this elasticity, so it cannot correct presbyopia. Your ability to see close-up is therefore unaffected by the surgery. If you need to wear glasses to see close-up now, you will also need to wear them after LASIK.

When and why may you develop a need for reading glasses after LASIK?

If you don't need reading glasses now, then LASIK surgery will not suddenly cause you to need them post-surgery. However, it won't stop you from requiring them later on, either. Most people eventually need reading glasses. Sometimes they need them around the age of 40, and sometimes a bit later. LASIK won't affect this. If you were going to eventually need reading glasses anyways, you will still develop that need, even if you have LASIK.

It all comes down to this: the condition that causes people to need reading glasses is a different condition from the issue that LASIK addresses. LASIK is a great choice to correct nearsightedness, but eventually, you will probably still need reading glasses, and if you need reading glasses right now, that won't change post-surgery. However, it can still be really nice to not have to wear glasses all of the time!