LASIK eye surgery is widely perceived as a safe and effective means of enhancing vision. Still, no surgical procedure is entirely without risk. To protect both their vision and long-term eye health, patients should follow their physicians’ instructions to the letter. Additionally, prospective LASIK patients should take time to familiarize themselves with all the potential side effects. If you experience pain or discomfort after your surgery, don’t hesitate to see your doctor for care.
Lasik Side Effects
While most patients are very pleased with the results of their LASIK procedures, some negative side effects can occur. Here are some of the possible side effects that accompany laser eye surgery:
Mild Discomfort – After undergoing LASIK eye surgery, some patients report slight discomfort. While some individuals experience a gritty sensation as though they have lashes in their eyes, others report itching or mild burning. Further, the surgery can affect your eyes’ ability to produce sufficient tears.
Fortunately, your doctor will prescribe pain relievers and eye drops to mitigate discomfort and prevent infection after surgery. Most patients feel completely recovered within 48 hours of undergoing LASIK.
Blurred Vision– A temporary side effect of LASIK, blurred vision is usually resolved within a few days. However, in rare cases, it may take up to 3 months for your eyes to heal completely and your vision to stabilize.
Glare– Do you ever see halos around images? While some patients experience halos and glare after LASIK, it’s important to note that the effects are usually temporary. In fact, in the long run, LASIK patients experience fewer instances of double vision and other issues than they did before surgery.
Trouble Driving at Night – One of the side effects of LASIK eye surgery is diminished vision in low lighting. Patients should take extra care for a few months when driving at night or in fog.
Fluctuating vision – Although distance vision tends to remain strong after LASIK, some far-sighted patients note that their vision diminishes over time. Further refractive surgeries may be needed to correct this side effect.
Sensitivity– It’s not uncommon for eyes to become especially sensitive in the wake of LASIK. To protect your eyes while you heal, the doctor may instruct you to avoid wearing lotions and eye makeup. Additionally, LASIK patients should avoid playing contact sports and using a hot tub or whirlpool for several weeks after surgery.
Flap Issues– In very rare cases, the doctor may fail to create the LASIK flap correctly. As a result, the eye surface can become irregular, resulting in distorted vision.
Long-Term Effects of Lasik
While some individuals do experience negative side effects, LASIK patients should remember that the long-term effects of the procedure are largely positive. In fact, a recent FDA report revealed that 95 percent of patients surveyed achieved 20/20 vision or better after treatment. Further, side effects like ghosting and haloes were typically mild and temporary.
It’s clear that LASIK offers a number of benefits over other forms of vision correction. Take the time to research potential procedures and providers carefully before deciding if laser eye surgery is right for you.