U.S survey shows high number of side effects with Lasik treatment

A recent survey from American consumer watchdog Consumer Reports has found that from 793 adults who have had Lasik surgery in the last eight years, around 55 percent still say they need to wear glasses or contact lenses on many occasions such as reading or driving.

While 80 percent said they were completely or at the very least mostly satisfied with the results of the surgery 53 percent were reporting side effects within the four weeks after the surgery. Another 22 percent were still experiencing side effects six months after the treatment.

Side effects included physical symptoms such as dry eyes, and visual symptoms that included halos, glares and starbursts around the eyes.

Despite the results of the survey John Santa M.D the director of the Consumer Reports health centre stated that amount of people that still relied on glasses after surgery did not change the fact that 80 percent of people who underwent the surgery were satisfied with the results. 

The survey fails to point out however that some patients may have had unrealistic expectations of what the surgery is capable of. Many experts in the field have commented that laser eye surgery will not provide the recipient with perfect vision especially if they have a vision condition that appeared midlife.  

Dr Santa also went on to comment that the long-term effects of Lasik surgery could not be measured yet, due to the fact that there is not enough evidence for what laser treated corneas will be like after 30 plus years yet. 

Other data gathered from the survey found the most popular reasons for surgery. 56 percent had it to correct nearsightedness, 35 percent for astigmatism and 20 percent wanted to correct their farsightedness.  

This survey comes at a time when the U.S Food and Drug Administration who regulate the use of the devices used in laser vision surgery in America are already investigating Lasik due to complaints about side effects and the lack of proper data on how often they take place.

Thursday 10th September 2009

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