LASIK specific Complications & Risks

Owing to the nature of the LASIK procedure, i.e. producing a flap in the cornea, you may experience some symptoms in greater severity than other types of laser eye surgery. Symptoms such as dry eye are fairly common problem after LASIK, as the conjunctiva and corneal epithelium can be damaged decreasing tear production. Symptoms such as glare and starbursts are also fairly common. As explained in the Risks of Laser Eye Surgery section, these higher order aberrations occur as light travels through the boundary between the corrected and uncorrected corneal tissue. This causes light sources to look like stars, or display ‘halo’ like structures around them. In some people the problem resolves after around a month however in others it is permanent.

You may find that following the LASIK procedure your eyes become particularly sensitive, causing you pain when you are exposed to sunlight and other bright lights. This is due to more light entering your eye than before the treatment when you had a thicker cornea. You will need to wear sunglasses for the first few days until this goes away.

Sometimes following LASIK, patients may still notice problems with their vision. This is an uncommon problem and leads to a loss of visual clarity or sharpness for the first few months after treatment. You may also experience lines that are unfocussed when compared to the rest of your vision. These problems are due to little wrinkles on the surface of the cornea that haven’t flattened out when the flap was replaced. It is likely that this problem will naturally go away after a couple of months.

These are the main types of LASIK specific symptoms, however it is common that you can develop any of the complications or side effects discussed in the ‘Risks of Laser Eye Surgery’ section.

Severe complications in laser eye surgery are thankfully very rare, however they do still occur. Some of these problems can be treated to allow your vision to return to normal, sadly however, some may not. It is important that you understand what the surgery and recovery period entails, along with any possible side effects and complications before you agree to have the surgery. Any questions or worries you may have will be addressed by your ophthalmologist.

Unfortunately there are a number of conditions that may prevent you from having laser eye surgery. It is important that you ensure you are suitable for the procedure. More information on your suitability will be available from your initial consultation, however listed in the next article are some of the general exclusions from the procedure.

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