Many people are ditching their glasses and contacts for Lasik corrective eye surgery, and why shouldn't they? The thought of not having to deal with the tedious task of cleaning and applying contact lenses every morning, or being completely helpless without glasses is more than appealing - it's a dream come true for many people. However, Lasik surgery is not for everyone, and there are often numerous complications that prospective patients should watch out for.
Constant Dry Eye
One of the most common Lasik complications is dry eye. Often times, a patient's eyes become extremely sensitive on the surface after the Lasik procedure has been performed, and moisturizing drops are prescribed to help alleviate irritation and dryness. In most cases, dry eye only persists for several months, but there is a slight possibility for permanent irritation and dryness.
- Most Lasik candidates who are already dealing with dry eye issues are usually turned down before corrective surgery is performed.
- Dry eye can persist for up to six months to a year, but typically disappears once the eye has healed. Since the healing and recovery time can vary from person to person, patients should visit their doctor regularly for persistent dry eye.
Eye Infection Or Irritation
Numerous measures should be taken by Lasik patients and their physicians to prevent complications due to eye infection or irritation. Some things to watch out for include:
- Applying make-up, lotion or cream around the eye area.
- Keep soap or shampoo from entering the eyes.
- Avoid swimming in the ocean, pools or hot tubs for at least one month after surgery.
- Do not rub or scratch your eyes.
Though eye infection is rare, it can occur due to bacteria like Staphylococcus, which is commonly found on a person's body and is responsible for staph infection. Eye drops and other forms of antibiotics can be prescribed to help reduce the chances of infection and to alleviate eye irritation.
Loss Of Vision And Regression
Another possible Lasik complication that is less common is losing lines of vision on the eye chart. Because the procedure has already corrected your vision to the best visual acuity possible, these lost lines of vision cannot be restored, even with corrective lenses.
Vision regression is also a possible complication, which means there is a chance that the eye could return to the original level of vision before having received corrective surgery. In cases of vision regression, retreatment is a possibility after enough time has passed from the original surgery to allow the eye to heal.
Debilitating Eye Conditions
Debilitating eye conditions are Lasik complications that can disrupt a person's vision after corrective surgery. These debilitating eye conditions include:
- Night glare: visible glare at night that affects proper vision.
- Halos: the patient notices the presence of halo rings under certain lighting conditions.
- Starbursts: similar to halos, these specs of blurred light can affect proper vision.
- Ghost vision: the patient begins seeing double, similar to a dazed effect.
In some cases, a person can have excellent vision under normal circumstances, but vision that was worse than before Lasik surgery in situations of decreased visibility, like in a foggy environment or in low lit settings, due to these debilitating eye conditions. These complications are rare and since they typically occur at night, they can be corrected with night glasses.
Overcorrection Or Undercorrection
Although most Lasik patients will notice an increase in their quality of sight, many will still require corrective lenses to achieve complete, 20/20 vision. Over and under Lasik treatments depend on how a patient's eye heals and how it reacts to the treatment. In some cases, retreatment may be required to correct over or under treatment. However, patients should be aware of the possibility that glasses or contact lenses might still be needed, even after corrective surgery.
Lasik surgery is a great alternative for those who no longer wish to use corrective lenses. As doctors become more experienced with Lasik surgery techniques, complications with corrective surgery become less common. Prospective Lasik patients should receive comprehensive consultation with their doctor to go over all of the possible risks and complications that accompany corrective eye surgery.