What are the long-term effects of LASIK eye surgery?

LASIK is one of the most common types of eye surgery, and the procedure has helped millions of people over the past 35 years. Still, if you are considering this procedure for yourself, you might be wondering about the side effects and risks. As with any medical procedure, LASIK does carry some risks, which we’ll discuss here, along with the long-term benefits of LASIK.

Over the past three decades, LASIK has improved dramatically, so some of the LASIK effects that might have been concerning in the 1990s aren’t really a problem with modern tools and techniques. Today, it’s known as a safe and effective procedure, used to correct refractive errors and allow people to achieve higher visual acuity. The long-term benefits are well-known, because the vision correction achieved by laser eye surgery is permanent, so most patients have improvement in their vision for the rest of their lives. While a very small percentage of patients will need an enhancement procedure later, over 90 percent achieve permanent 20/20 vision.

That being said, LASIK does carry some risks of side effects and complications. Most of the time, side effects are temporary and improve as the patient’s corneas heal, as long as the surgeon’s instructions are followed during the healing process. For a small percentage of patients, however, some side effects can become permanent. These include:

  • Double vision
  • Dry eye
  • Glare
  • Halos
  • Light sensitivity
  • Starbursts

There are also some rarer risks and complications, which are unlikely but worth noting. Sometimes vision is under corrected or overcorrected, but these issues can typically be fixed with follow-up LASIK procedures. Rarely, a patient’s corneas are too thin for a corrective procedure. The rarest complication of LASIK is blindness, which has been documented, but not recently. The best way to avoid this risk is to choose an experienced surgeon trained in modern techniques and using modern equipment. There’s no link between LASIK and a higher risk of cataracts, and in fact, contact lenses carry more risks than LASIK surgery does. Some people develop presbyopia after LASIK surgery, which is not a complication of the procedure but simply a change in the lens of the eye, due to the aging process. For most people, the long term effects of LASIK surgery are improved vision and the ability to live a life free of corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses.

When contemplating vision correction surgery, trust Panorama LASIK to care for your eye care needs. Serving all of Colorado, Panorama LASIK utilizes state-of-the-art technology to provide comprehensive medical and surgical eye care. We’re committed to enhancing quality of life through exceptional patient care, and our doctors and staff members are second to none. Request an appointment with our community-oriented practice to learn how we work to understand your needs and exceed your expectations, call us at (970) 232-1565, or contact us today!

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