Risks of LASIK
If you’re considering undergoing LASIK eye surgery, one of the biggest questions on your mind is likely “How safe is it?”
At Visionary Eye Doctors, we understand this concern and are happy to guide our patients through both the pros and cons of all our procedures to help them feel as comfortable as possible. In this blog, we’ll review the complications associated with LASIK and how to tell if it is right for you.
LASIK has become a commonly performed laser refractive procedure since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999. It works by reshaping the front surface of the eye (the cornea) to allow light entering the eye to focus on the retina without needing to wear glasses or corrective lenses.
The procedure takes just a few minutes, but its results can have a tremendous impact on the quality of life for those suffering from nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
That said, LASIK is not for everyone. Every surgical procedure, even one as common as LASIK, has its risks. Although most patients are pleased with the results of their laser vision correction surgery, it’s important to weigh the chance of experiencing complications against the benefits of the procedure.
Many of the risks you hear about in connection with LASIK are actually just temporary side effects that often resolve themselves within a few months of the procedure. This can include mild to severe dry eye, halos, glare, starbursts, and double vision. These are common while your eyes fully heal, and your surgeon should be able to ease the symptoms with eyedrops.
Less common are more serious potential complications. This can include:
- Under or overcorrection of vision
- Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)
- Vision loss
- Astigmatism or impaired vision
Who Should Not Have LASIK?
Your risk factor for these serious complications dramatically increases if you are not a strong candidate for the LASIK procedure in the first place, so it’s important to review your health history with your surgeon ahead of time.
The following patients should not have LASIK:
- Those with collagen vascular disease
- Those with autoimmune or immunodeficiency diseases
- Patients with signs of keratoconus or abnormal corneal topography
- Women who are pregnant or nursing
- Patients who are taking the medications isotretinoin (Accutane™) or amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone™)
Know Your Risk Beforehand
The most critical way to optimize your LASIK results is by choosing the right doctor. Always choose a board-certified LASIK surgeon, and set up an initial consultation to determine your candidacy and the potential for complications.
The experts at Visionary Eye Doctors take this step seriously and conduct a thorough diagnostic eye exam that evaluates:
- The shape and thickness of your cornea
- Your refractive errors and pupil size
- The moistness of your eyes (to check for dry eye syndrome)
- Your general health and medical history
- Any medications you are taking
If your consultation reveals that you are not a good candidate, there are several LASIK alternatives that could be a better fit. This includes photorefractive keratectomy, clear lens exchange, and implantable contact lenses. Visionary Eye Doctors has experts in all these areas and will evaluate you to determine the right path for your optimal vision.
Feel Confident With Visionary Eye Doctors
Your safety is our top concern at Visionary Eye Doctors. We take every precaution possible to protect your vision while helping you regain your quality of life.
Count on our board-certified LASIK experts to:
- Evaluate your eye health
- Explain your treatment options
- Answer any and all questions
- Provide expert follow-up care
Choosing a skilled and experienced LASIK eye surgeon can reduce risk and enable you to achieve the best possible results from laser eye surgery. To schedule a consultation with our refractive surgeon Dr. Alberto Martinez and discuss if LASIK is right for you, contact Visionary Eye Doctors at (301) 591-1763.