There are many benefits to Lasik eye surgery, including stronger eyesight and better peripheral vision. However, like any other medical procedure, Lasik surgery does come with some risks. Being informed before your surgery can help you to know the warning signs of Lasik complications, and fortunately, some of them can be repaired. Here are the most common risks associated with Lasik eye surgery.
This is the primary risk associated with Lasik surgery. It creates an open site in the eye that runs the risk of getting infected with a bacteria. In some cases, this type of infection can just be painful, while in other cases infections can lead to blindness or impaired vision. Fortunately, a peer-reviewed study by the Archives of Ophthalmology found that the risk of infection-related blindness was actually very low for Lasik surgery. Surgery carries a 1 in 10,000 risk of infection-related vision loss while 1 in 2,000 contact lens wearers have infections that lead to vision loss. You can lower your risk of infection further by practicing caution and following your doctor’s instructions after surgery.
According to the FDA, Lasik surgery may cause patients to lose their ability to produce adequate tears. Without tears to lubricate the eyes, people may experience temporary vision blurring or discomfort. This risk of Lasik surgery might be quite inconvenient, but it is somewhat easy to fix. It will just require patients to regularly use eyedrops. In more severe cases, patients may need a punctal occlusion procedure to plug the tear duct and prevent fluid from draining out of the eye.
Vision aberrations include starbursts around bright lights, halos around bright lights, brief double vision, or other abnormal issues. Having Lasik surgery at an older age increases the risk of vision aberrations. Though normally not detrimental to overall vision quality, these aberrations can be annoying. They tend to occur when there is an irregularity between the remolded and untouched portions of the cornea. Vision aberrations are most likely to happen when attempting to look at fog or in dim situations.
Incorrectly Healed Corneal Flaps
After surgery, patients will have a detached flap of cornea that needs to heal smoothly over the eye. Unfortunately, eye trauma or rubbing eyes after surgery can make the flap fold or become displaced. This requires another eye operation to fix the flap complication. A 2005 study found that 0.244% of people who get Lasik have a flap complication that requires treatment.
Lasik works by remolding the cornea so that light refracts through it properly. Unfortunately, calculation errors can cause slight issues with treatment. If too much or too little of the cornea is removed, a patient may not have excellent vision after surgery. If you are undertreated, you will just require another surgery. If a patient is over treated, they may end up needing to use reading glasses or another form of corrective eyewear.
Having Lasik surgery increases your risk for future cornea disorders. A 2003 study found that patients may have a 0.33 percent higher risk of getting neovascularization which is a condition where blood vessels grow in the clear parts of the cornea. There is also a risk of developing a cornea bulge over time that causes symptoms similar to mild astigmatism. Occasionally, the cornea can become inflamed due to white blood cell accumulation in a condition called diffuse lamellar keratitis.
Lasik does come with risks, but the right treatment can really help to diminish these risks. It is important to find a talented and experienced doctor when you are picking the surgeon for your Lasik procedure. After surgery, you can reduce further risks of complications by following your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions and avoiding touching your eyes.