LASIK Side Effects And Complications

LASIK Side Effects And Complications

LASIK side effects

LASIK eye surgery has emerged as a popular solution for common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. While many have experienced significant improvements in their vision after LASIK, it is important to acknowledge that like any other surgical procedure, there are certain LASIK side effects and complications.

What Are The Common Side Effects After LASIK Surgery?

Following LASIK surgery, it is not uncommon to experience a range of side effects as your eyes adapt to their newly reshaped corneas. Some common LASIK side effects include:

  • Dry eyes – Many experience dry eyes after LASIK surgery. This occurs as the corneal nerves that regulate tear production are temporarily affected during the LASIK procedure.
  • Temporary discomfort or mild pain – This side effect usually diminishes as the eyes begin to heal.
  • Glare, halos, and starbursts – Some may notice glare, halos, or starbursts around lights especially during the night. The eyes tend to improve as it adjusts.
  • Blurry vision – Blurriness or haziness of vision can occur during the initial stages of healing. This blurriness should gradually improve over time.

It is to note that the extent and duration of these side effects may vary from person to person, and while they can be initially bothersome, they typically subside as the eyes heal.

Is It Common To Have Side Effects After LASIK?

Yes, experiencing side effects after LASIK eye surgery is quite common. The majority of patients will encounter some degree of temporary discomfort or visual disturbances during the healing process. 

How Long Will The LASIK Side Effects Last?

The duration of LASIK side effects may vary, with most patients finding relief within the first few days to a few weeks after the procedure. Other side effects might persist for a longer duration but may be managed effectively with the guidance of your eye specialist.

How Do I Manage These Side Effects?

There are things you can do to alleviate post-LASIK side effects.

  1. Regularly apply prescribed lubricating eye drops to combat dryness.
  2. Protect your eyes from bright lights and wear sunglasses outdoors to reduce sensitivity. 
  3. Avoid areas that are dusty.
  4. Strictly follow the post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon.
  5. Attend follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress.

What Are The Possible Complications Of LASIK?

While LASIK is generally a safe and successful procedure, there are still potential complications that should be acknowledged. Complications may include:

  • Overcorrection or Undercorrection – In some cases, the desired outcome might not be achieved, resulting in either overcorrection (excessive vision correction) or undercorrection (insufficient correction of vision).
  • Persistent Dry Eyes – While temporary dryness is common, some patients may experience prolonged or chronic dry eyes that require ongoing management.
  • Irregular Astigmatism – Inconsistent corneal reshaping can lead to irregular astigmatism, causing distorted or blurry vision that might require further treatment.
  • Regression – Over time, the corrected vision might regress, necessitating additional procedures to maintain optimal results.
  • Flap Complications – Issues related to the corneal flap created during surgery, such as dislodgement, wrinkling, or epithelial ingrowth (growth of cells under the flap), can occur in rare cases.

It is important to be aware of your risk factors as LASIK eye surgery may exacerbate pre-existing eye conditions such as corneal dystrophy. In a study involving 7 patients with Avellino dystrophy gene, it was found that corneal opacities appeared 12 months or more after LASIK surgery.

What Can I Do To Avoid Complications?

While one cannot eliminate all risks associated with LASIK, there are steps you can take to minimize the chances of complications. 

  1. Choose an experienced and reputable surgeon.
  2. Thoroughly discuss your medical history, lifestyle, and expectations with your surgeon to help ensure you’re an appropriate candidate for the procedure. 
  3. Be aware of the tests before LASIK procedure as this may help to determine if you are a good candidate or you are ineligible to have a LASIK surgery. 
  4. Adhere to pre-operative and post-operative instructions diligently as it can significantly contribute to a successful outcome.

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This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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