The Risks and Benefits of Laser Eye Surgery

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Laser eye surgery, also known as LASIK surgery, is a type of corrective procedure of the eyes. This surgery utilizes a laser to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. An ophthalmologist uses laser or microkeratome to boost vision by reshaping the cornea.

During LASIK surgery’s infancy, the technology has not been perfected yet. As such, loss of vision was one of the most common complications of the procedure. But technology came a long way and LASIK surgery is safer than ever! Of course, LASIK surgery is not 100% safe that’s why as a patient, you need to know the risks and benefits of the procedure.

Benefits of LASIK surgery

Improved Vision

LASIK surgery has an incredibly high success rate. About 95% of patients who undergone LASIK surgery achieved 20/40 vision and 85% achieved 20/20 vision. After the procedure, the majority of patients experienced greatly enhanced vision.

Long-Term Results

Yes, it is possible to achieve long lasting results from LASIK surgery. Of course, the eyes will take time to adjust after the procedure. Following LASIK surgery, there will be about 3 months of stabilization adjustment before vision becomes better. But the results are long term. In addition, follow-up procedures are not required. However, LASIK surgery will not protect the eyes from age or illness related vision problems. There is no surgical procedure in existence that can keep your corneas from aging or take on a different shape.

Short Recovery

After the surgery, you can go back to your normal activities as soon as possible. You can have perfect or near-perfect vision within a day.

Freedom from Glasses and Contact Lenses

Having a near-perfect vision, you no longer need to wear prescription glasses or contact lenses after surgery. LASIK surgery may be costly, but it pays for itself because you no longer need to spend hundreds of dollars on contact lenses and eyewear!

The Risks and Complications of LASIK surgery

Vision Loss

Vision loss is always a potential risk in most eye procedures and LASIK surgery is no exemption. There are cases wherein patients did not experience any changes in their vision or they reportedly experienced worse vision after treatment. However, do note that these cases are very rare.

New Vision Problems

There are also cases wherein patients developed new vision problems after LASIK surgery. These vision problems include double visions, auras or starbursts. Some patients also report experiencing pronounced dryness of the eyes after treatment. This is often resolved by using eye drops and plenty of rest. But in serious cases of dry eyes, plugs are needed to prevent tears from flowing away from the eyes. The procedure could also increase the risk of infection.

Over or Under-Treatment of the Corneas

Do note that LASIK surgery is a very delicate procedure not just because it corrects vision but because it reshapes the cornea. It takes a certain level of skill to successfully reshape the cornea. If the cornea is under-treated, the patient will experience very little improvement in vision. Consequently, if the cornea is over-treated, there will be irreversible damage to the eyes.

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