LASIK Side Effects
LASIK has been shown to be a very effective procedure, and most patients are very happy with their vision following the procedure. However, like any surgical procedure, LASIK does come with some risks. In order for you to decide whether LASIK surgery is right for you, you need to be aware of potential risks and complications and weigh these carefully before proceeding with surgery.
The most common side effects associated with LASIK include glare, halos with night vision, and dry eyes. In many cases, LASIK eye surgery side effects disappear within a few days to a few months following the procedure.
Sensitivity to Light
Sensitivity to light is one of the most commonly experienced LASIK side effects. While it will be tempting for patients to rub or touch their eyes when they experience this sensation, this could impede the healing process or damage the eyes during LASIK recovery. Light sensitivity generally subsides within the first few days after a LASIK procedure.
Halos, Starbursts, and Glare
Halos, starbursts, glare, and other general vision problems can occur when the corneal flap does not adhere correctly to the eye after it is replaced, or when the pupil dilates to a size that is larger than the treatment zone. These complications of LASIK surgery most commonly disappear within the first month after a LASIK procedure, but if symptoms persist, the use of glasses or additional treatment can usually remedy this problem.
You may be over-corrected or under-corrected
Most patients are satisfied with their vision after a single treatment, but in some cases, you may not achieve quality vision initially and need a second surgery, called an enhancement, to sharpen your vision. Patients with more extreme prescriptions are at higher risk for needing an enhancement. This enhancement cannot be performed for many months after your initial surgery to allow for your eyes to heal appropriately from the first surgery and for your eyeglass prescription to stabilize.
Loss of visual clarity or regression, one of the more uncommon LASIK side effects, is usually only temporary and occurs during the first few months of healing. Visual regression after LASIK surgery is usually caused by wrinkles or folds in the corneal flap or hazing of the cornea, and is typically resolved as healing progresses. Women on hormone therapy may be at particular risk of regression, and should discuss all medications they are taking with their doctor to avoid unnecessary laser eye surgery complications. If you are unsure if you are a suitable candidate for LASIK, please visit our page on LASIK Candidacy.
One of the most common complications of LASIK surgery is dryness of the eyes, which can manifest itself in the form of redness, itchiness, blurred vision, crusting, or the sensation that there is a foreign body in the eye. Fortunately, post LASIK dry eye complications usually subside within the first three months after surgery, and are easily relieved by the use of preservative-free lubricating drops. After your LASIK procedure, you will be asked to put lubricating eye drops frequently and even if you don’t feel any of the symptom above.
Loss of Contrast Sensitivity
Loss of contrast sensitivity after LASIK surgery can impair the patient’s ability to clearly discern objects. This is particularly noticeable in low light conditions and may affect night driving ability. Patients usually find that contrast sensitivity returns to normal within six months.
To learn more about the advantages of LASIK laser eye surgery, as well as its side effects, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Mneimneh, he will assist you in achieving the superior LASIK results you deserve.