What Are The Risks & Side Effects Of Laser Eye Surgery?
“Complications occur in less than 5% of cases”
Laser eye surgery technology has taken significant strides in recent years. So much so that almost all procedures are routine nowadays.
Laser eye surgery offers the chance for permanently corrected vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. The procedure involves reshaping the cornea, the transparent window at the front of the eye, using a laser.
Malpractice and scaremongering in the early days of laser-eye surgery meant that there were concerns surrounding its safety. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, however, found laser eye surgery to be safe enough to be offered by the NHS. They recommend, though, that anyone considering laser eye surgery should be sure to weigh the benefits against the risks.
Risks and Side Effects
Most side effects are rare and temporary, but it is important to be aware of them before considering this type of eye treatment.
In the months following laser eye surgery, some patients have had a problem with dry eyes, which may call for the long-term use of artificial tear supplements. It is also quite common to experience eye sensitivity for a few months after the surgery. Ptosis (drooping of the upper lid) may occur in the first few weeks following surface laser treatment but rarely persists.
Just after treatment, many patients experience glare and halo effects when driving at night. This is more common if a major correction has been made, is rarely severe and will subside after a few days. A difference in the refractive error can also occur between the eyes of patients who have only treated one eye. In these cases, patients might need to wear glasses to balance the two eyes.
In extremely rare cases, too much thinning of the eye wall can make it unstable. Although loss of sight is uncommon, some patients may need corneal surgery or hard contact lenses to restore their vision. However, if this is likely to be the outcome, it’s very unlikely that your surgeon will proceed with the procedure.
Before you go ahead with surgery, check out your surgeon’s credentials and track record, and make sure you are completely happy. If you have had laser eye surgery, it is very important that you have regular eye checks to ensure that there are no side effects or complications resulting from your surgery.
Laser eye surgery can be a wonderful thing in the right situation. However, it’s important to remember that it’s a highly invasive procedure, and as such, can have side effects. It’s also important to remember that you can often see equal, or better, results from contact lenses.
If you’d like to know whether your eyes are suitable for laser eye surgery, and whether we think it’s the right option for you, please make an appointment at one of our branches and one of our experienced optometrists will be happy to help.