What are the Potential Risks of Laser Eye Surgery?

Laser eye surgery is a popular procedure that can correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism. It has been around for more than 25 years and has been approved by the FDA since 1999. While the benefits of laser eye surgery are amazing, many people are concerned about the potential risks and complications that could arise from the procedure. It is important to understand the potential risks before undergoing LASIK treatment so that you can make an informed decision. The most common side effects of laser eye surgery are dry eyes and temporary visual problems such as glare. Dry eyes occur when the eyes don't produce enough tears or tears evaporate quickly.

This can be treated with artificial tears and usually goes away after a few months. Some people may experience increased eye sensitivity during the first few months after LASIK, but this usually resolves on its own and no treatment is needed. Continuous sensitivity is very rare and affects less than 1% of patients. The risk of infection after laser eye surgery is extremely small, but it is still important to discuss any concerns with your surgeon before committing to the procedure. The risk of infection, from highest to lowest, is LASEK, PRK, LASIK with a blade and IntraLasik with a femtosecond laser that represents the lowest risk of all.

The overall risk of infection after using IntraLasik in very good eye centers is 1 in 10,000 cases. For a few days or weeks after laser eye surgery (with both LASIK and surface ablation), all patients may experience halos. Some patients may also experience a temporary reduction in night vision, which is especially noticeable when driving at night. There is also an increased risk of corneal instability, which is a condition in which the cornea is more elastic than normal and can become unstable after laser eye surgery. It is important to remember that while laser eye surgery involves risks, they may be lower than the risk of continuing to wear contact lenses. Figures show that 96% of the 700,000 patients who choose to have this procedure each year will have the desired vision after the procedure.

All good eye laser surgeons will be happy to discuss any concerns and answer your questions before you commit to the procedure.

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