Laser Eye Surgery: Risks and Benefits

Laser eye surgery often produces pleasing results and allows patients to reduce or eliminate the use of corrective lenses. Laser correction of the vision also allows people to pursue careers that require 20/20 vision (e.g. pilot, police officer, etc). However, with these benefits come a few risks.

With the PRK surgery some of the risk include:

  • Pain, mild to severe, following surgery
  • Hazy vision usually for a week following surgery
  • Regression within six months after surgery, which will require a second enhancement treatment or you may need to go back to using glasses or contacts.
  • Corneal infection or infectious keratisis may arise and worsen the vision

With LASIK there is less pain following surgery. But, since LASIK requires the cutting into the cornea, a greater risk of complications may arise. Some complications include:

  • Dry eyes, which may affect vision
  • Poor night vision due to glares and halos around lights. This may impair the ability to drive at night.
  • Risk of a corneal infection.
  • The cornea may bulge in a serious condition called corneal ectasia, which may require a cornea implant to treat.

With recent LASEK surgery some of the risks that may arise are common to those associated with PRK including pain, haze, and regression. However, LASEK reduces the risk of dry eyes and the cornea ectasia.

Note not all the possible risks associated with laser eye treatment were covered. If you’re considering undergoing treatment, consult with your eye surgeon about what type of procedure is suitable for you and what are the risks. It’s also important to know that laser eye surgery may not improve your vision, even if you’re a suitable candidate for the procedure.

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