Lasik’s not perfect – Side Effects You Can Anticipate.

By: Thomas Hunter

Lasik vision correction surgery is a popular option for those with moderate to low vision problems and would like to help their eyesight. Most Lasik patients who have the Lasik procedure do have favorable outcomes. While the healing and recovery times after having Lasik is relatively fast, there are side effects that potential patients should be aware of before have the procedure. While Lasik does help many, Lasik’s not perfect; there are side effects you can anticipate.

Most surgeons who perform the Lasik procedure feel that patient education is one of the most important aspects of the surgery. Much dissatisfaction with the surgery can be solved by proper education prior to the surgery. That education includes informing patients of any and all side effects of the procedure. Most patients that have this surgery only have low to moderate side effects that only last a few hours to a couple of days. There are side effects however, that can linger for months. Before having Lasik surgery, it is important to understand all of the possible side effects.

Minor side effects that most patients report after surgery include blurred vision, light sensitivity and dry eye. Most of these side effects only last for a short period of time or until the eye heals. The surgeon may instruct patients to limit night driving because of blurred vision or halos around lit objects during the night. Also, patients are usually advised to wear good sunglasses when exposed to sunlight. This will help cut down on the sensitivity to light. Also, a prescription is usually given to patients to help the feeling of dry eye. In addition, eye shield are recommended for patients to wear while sleeping to help prevent scratching or possible damage to the eye after surgery. Not rubbing the eyes will also help the side effects.

Some side effects from Lasik surgery can be more severe and can last more than a few days. These can include needing a second “enhancement” or “retouch” surgery, lost vision or worsened vision, reduced low-light vision, infection and severe dry eye syndrome. You doctor should fully discuss the risks and complications before you consent to surgery.

Infection: Infection is the most common side effect of the Lasik surgery. Following basic surgery instructions can lower the risks of infection. Patients are usually asked to not wear any make up or facial creams or lotions for at least three days prior to surgery. Also, perfumes and cologne should not be worn on the day of the surgery. These all can cause contaminants and can increase the risk of infection in the eye. Also, most Lasik surgeons will cancel the surgery if make up or lotions are on the face on the day of the surgery.

Enhancement surgery: Some Lasik patients may require a second Lasik procedure a few months after the initial surgery. These are often called “enhancement surgeries” or “retouching”. Sometimes if the surgery is “undercorrected”, a second surgery will be required. “Overcorrection” means that the patient will need to wear some sort of glasses or contacts for a little while after the initial surgery. Before a second procedure is performed, the surgeon will usually wait three to six months and will carefully monitor the recovery process.

Lost of vision or reduced Vision: Sometimes, in vary rare cases, Lasik patients can have a loss of vision or reduced vision after the procedure. Is it estimated that three percent of all Lasik patients report this outcome. Often, these complications do correct themselves, but could take several months.

Reduced low-light vision: Having difficult seeing at night is a fairly common side effect of Lasik. This also usually corrects itself after a period of time. After surgery, some patient report seeing “halos” around lights at nighttime. Typically, patients report that this condition is present for about three to four days after surgery. In rare circumstances, poor night vision can last as long as six months before clearing.

Severe dry eye: Dry eye is when the eye needs more moisture. This is also a common, side effect or complication of the Lasik procedure. For people who suffer chronically from dry eye, it is not recommended that they have Lasik. For other people, dry eye can affect them for several days, sometimes months after the procedure. To help dry eye, eye drops are given to the patient.


This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease".

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