Why do LASIK Doctors Wear Glasses?

Why do LASIK Doctors Wear Glasses?

by Brian Chou, OD, FAAO, FSLS

  • April 18, 2022


Do you find it odd that some LASIK surgeons wear glasses? It seems contradictory – as if these eye doctors do not believe in the very service that they provide. Yet like many things, appearances are often deceiving. The reality is that eye surgeons that perform LASIK are five times more likely to undergo LASIK themselves.

Why wear glasses after LASIK?

Many eye doctors that have had successful LASIK still wear glasses afterwards. The reasons are varied. Let’s explore them.

  • A common and mistaken assumption is that LASIK eliminates the need for glasses. This is a myth. Although LASIK can dramatically reduce your dependency for glasses, the overwhelming majority will still find glasses helpful to obtain the clearest vision afterwards due to individual healing response. In fact, some after LASIK will have more glasses afterwards for various purposes compared to before their procedure – even if they don’t need glasses as much. Take comfort in knowing that an eye doctor wearing glasses is likely concerned about clearly examining your eyes and not missing subtle findings rather than perpetuating an image that sells you on elective surgery.
  • LASIK does not reverse the age-related decline in near vision, called “presbyopia”. Therefore, many eye doctors that have had LASIK will use reading glasses and progressive eyeglasses.
  • With readily available access to the latest eyewear, eye doctors often try new product for firsthand experience.

In summary, unlike what a conspiracy theorist may suggest, using eyeglasses after LASIK does not indicate failure or something wrong with the procedure. The key understanding is that while LASIK can significantly improve your unaided vision, the very best vision afterwards almost always still requires corrective lenses.

Why do some eye doctors choose against LASIK for themselves?

Although eye doctors are more likely overall to undergo LASIK themselves, a large contingent of them still will not have LASIK for personal reasons. Like with the rest of the population, the reasons are varied and include the following:

  • Benefit-to-risk is not worthwhile for their individual situation. For patients that are already relatively independent from corrective lenses, the specter of laser vision correction harming more than helping is real.
  • High expectations which exceed the range of realistic outcomes. Having LASIK under the hope for an unreasonable outcome is a one-way ticket to misery.
  • Prescription is unstable, making surgery inappropriate since it’s like hitting a moving target.
  • Not a candidate due to eye health problems such as keratoconus, cataracts, previous herpetic eye infections, or uncontrolled dry eye disease.
  • Preference for the familiarity of glasses and contact lenses, with an intolerance for the variability inherent with surgery.

As you can now understand, undergoing laser vision correction is an individual decision. It is not for everyone, but carefully selected candidates are generally delighted with the outcome, particularly when receiving appropriate care and guidance.


ReVision Optometry in San Diego is a referral-based practice providing medical contact lens services for patients with keratoconus, post-LASIK corneal ectasia, and other complex eye conditions.  Request an appointment online or call 619.299.6064.