Since its inception, nearly 20 million Americans have achieved 20/40 or better unaided vision through LASIK surgery. The procedure has an excellent safety profile, and has proven extremely effective at correcting myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Nevertheless, LASIK is a surgical procedure, and like any surgical procedure, it does involve some degree of risk. While serious risks are extremely rare, patients should be aware of more common side effects, most of which are relatively mild and subside within weeks, if not days or even hours.
At Utah Eye Associates, Dr. David Masihdas helps to reduce the risk of side effects substantially by using the latest, most advanced technologies and techniques, coupled with meticulous screening of potential candidates. By making sure that only the most suitable candidates are allowed to undergo LASIK, Dr. Masihdas also helps to promote the best possible results. Nevertheless, during consultations between him and patients at his office in Salt Lake City, LASIK side effects are discussed honestly and openly so that patients can make confident, informed decisions about whether to proceed with surgery.
Temporary Side Effects of LASIK
It is not unusual for patients to experience mild side effects immediately after undergoing LASIK surgery. In general, these side effects subside within one to two days after the procedure. In rare cases, they may last for a few weeks, gradually improving during that time. Patients who follow the post-surgical instructions provided to them by Dr. Masihdas to the letter tend to experience the shortest, most comfortable recovery periods with the lowest incidences of side effects.
The most common temporary side effects of LASIK include:
- Dry eye: Dry eye is the most common side effect of LASIK, which is why patients who suffer from chronic dry eye are generally not permitted to undergo the procedure. Aside from general dryness, the symptoms of dry eye include the sensation of a foreign object being present in the eye, burning, and itchiness. Dry eye can also cause blurry and fluctuating vision. The condition can usually be controlled with eye drops and other medications.
- Difficulties with night driving: While recovering from LASIK, some patients experience impaired night vision that can make it difficult to drive in low-light situations. In rare instances, these difficulties may be permanent without retreatment.
- Halos: Many patients experience halos immediately after LASIK surgery. Halos refer to the appearance of rings around bright lights.
- Glare: Many patients experience glare immediately after LASIK surgery. Glare refers to an impaired ability to see in the presence of bright lights.
- Sensitivity to light: During the first few days after surgery, some patients are extremely sensitive to light. It is normal for patients to experience mild to moderate pain when exposed to bright lights in the early stages of their LASIK recovery process. Patients are advised to wear sunglasses when they expect to be exposed to bright lights while healing from LASIK surgery.
- Fluctuating vision: Patients may experience fluctuating vision during the first two or three weeks after LASIK surgery.
Learn More about LASIK Side Effects
If you would like to learn more about the side effects associated with LASIK surgery, please contact Utah Eye Associates today.