Patients who are considering undergoing LASIK eye surgery should be aware of possible side effects that can occur. The most common side effects associated with LASIK include glare, halos with night vision, and dry eyes. In many cases, LASIK eye surgery side effects disappear within a few days to a few months following the procedure. However, if LASIK side effects last more than six months it is important to undergo an eye exam with your surgeon. For more information on statistics related to LASIK side effects, visit our LASIK statistics page. If you have considered LASIK surgery for the treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you should take into consideration the possible side effects before making a decision on treatment.
Sensitivity to Light
Sensitivity to light is one of the most commonly experienced LASIK side effects. While it will be tempting for patients to rub or touch their eyes when they experience this sensation, this could impede the healing process or damage the eyes during LASIK recovery. Light sensitivity generally subsides within the first few days after a LASIK procedure.
Halos, Starbursts, and Glare
Halos, starbursts, glare, and other general vision problems can occur when the corneal flap does not adhere correctly to the eye after it is replaced, or when the pupil dilates to a size that is larger than the treatment zone. These complications of LASIK surgery most commonly disappear within the first month after a LASIK procedure, but if symptoms persist, the use of glasses or additional treatment can usually remedy this problem.
Loss of visual clarity or regression, one of the more uncommon LASIK side effects, is usually only temporary and occurs during the first few months of healing. Visual regression after LASIK surgery is usually caused by wrinkles or folds in the corneal flap or hazing of the cornea, and is typically resolved as healing progresses. Women on hormone therapy may be at particular risk of regression, and should discuss all medications they are taking with their doctor to avoid unnecessary laser eye surgery complications. If you are unsure if you are a suitable candidate for LASIK, please visit our page on LASIK Candidacy.
One of the most common complications of LASIK surgery is dryness of the eyes, which can manifest itself in the form of redness, itchiness, blurred vision, crusting, or the sensation that there is a foreign body in the eye. Fortunately, post LASIK dry eye complications usually subside within the first three months after surgery, and are easily relieved by the use of preservative-free lubricating drops. If you are experiencing dry eyes after your LASIK procedure, contact your doctor to learn what kind of eye drops will most effectively relieve your symptoms.
Loss of Contrast Sensitivity
Loss of contrast sensitivity after LASIK surgery can impair the patient’s ability to clearly discern objects. This is particularly noticeable in low light conditions and may affect night driving ability. Patients usually find that contrast sensitivity returns to normal within six months.
Find a LASIK Surgeon in Your Area
Locate a LASIK surgeon in your area to learn more about the advantages of LASIK laser eye surgery, as well as possible side effects. The DocShop website provides a directory of LASIK surgeons throughout the country to assist you in achieving the superior LASIK results you deserve.