Although still considered a fairly new technique in the field of vision correction, LASIK has quickly become the standard for correcting the most common forms of vision impairment, refractive errors. LASIK surgery is performed to reshape the cornea in order to eliminate the abnormalities that result in nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. The reason that this procedure has become so popular, so quickly, is because it has an extremely high success rate. The overwhelming majority of patients recover from LASIK surgery with 20/20 vision or better. While this is extremely impressive, patients should understand that LASIK surgery is not without its risks. Although the instances of complication are low, there is a chance that an infection may occur following LASIK surgery. LASIK and the risk of infection are common concerns for our Salt Lake City, UT patients. Dr. David Mashidas discusses how to reduce the risk of infection after LASIK.
How Common Is Infection after LASIK?
Infection is one of the most common risks following LASIK surgery. However, the risk of any complication after LASIK is low, so infection is rare. In fact, it is estimated that infection occurs in about one out of 1,000 LASIK patients. While most patients will recover from LASIK without experiencing any unusual complications, it is still important that they know how to recognize the signs of infection should one develop.
Signs of Infection
In most cases, if an infection develops, it will do so within the first 7 to 10 days after surgery. However, it is possible for an infection to occur later, even up to eight weeks after surgery. Although LASIK recovery will cause some side effects, the following symptoms may be signs of infection and should be reported to Dr. Mashidas as soon as possible:
- Redness or eye irritation that does not dissipate as the eyes recover
- Pain in the eyes
- Excessive tearing of the eyes
- A decrease in best-corrected vision (i.e. difficulty seeing clearly even with glasses)
- Hazy vision
- Extreme sensitivity to light
If an infection does develop, it can usually be treated fairly easily, but it is important to seek treatment before the infection progresses and causes more serious complications.
Reducing the Risk of Infection
In order to further decrease the already minimal risk of infection after LASIK, it is important that patients properly care for their eyes during recovery. Dr. Mashidas will provide patients with thorough aftercare instructions that should be carefully followed. Below are some tips that will be especially helpful in reducing the risk of infection after LASIK:
- Use prescribed eye drops as directed
- Keep the eyes well lubricated with the use of artificial tears
- Avoid scratching or rubbing the eyes
- Stay away from dusty or smoky environments
If patients care for the eyes as directed, LASIK recovery should be uncomplicated and surgical results should be a great success.
LASIK surgery is the most effective way for patients to correct vision without relying on prescription glasses or contact lenses. This procedure has an impressive record of safety and success that makes it a popular treatment option among patients. To learn more about LASIK surgery and whether it is right for you, contact us at your earliest convenience. Dr. David Mashidas looks forward to meeting you.