LASIK eye surgery is one of the most widely performed medical procedures across the United States. Patients undergo LASIK surgery to correct common eyesight problems such as myopia and hyperopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Through its use of sophisticated laser technology, LASIK surgery is both safe and highly effective.
As with any surgery or medical procedure, it is essential to understand the risks and side effects associated with it. While serious complications that cause permanent damage rarely occur during LASIK eye surgery, temporary side effects can appear during the healing process.
Visual Side Effects
After LASIK eye surgery, it is common to experience sensitivity to sunlight and other bright lights. During LASIK surgery, a qualified eye surgeon reshapes the cornea, the transparent front surface of the eye. This can make the eye more sensitive to light while it is adjusting to this new shape.
Patients can expect to experience light sensitivity during the first few days or even weeks after surgery. This is only a temporary side effect and should completely disappear within three to six months.
Another common side effect after LASIK surgery is difficulty seeing at night. Night-time glare can occur in the form of halos or starbursts. Halos are rings that appear around the outer edge of light sources like car headlights. With starbursts, a bright glow radiates from the center of a light source, blurring the objects around it.
Swelling brought on by the procedure causes these side effects. As the eyes being to heal and the swelling reduces, the side effects will slowly fade. In the week following LASIK surgery, patients are advised to wear sunglasses during the day and avoid driving at night to help their eyes heal properly.
Physical Side Effects
Many patients of LASIK eye surgery experience dry eyes in the weeks after the procedure. During LASIK surgery, the surgeon cuts the nerves in the cornea, which usually signal to the body to produce tears. While the eyes are healing, tear production is reduced, causing them to feel dry and irritated.
Symptoms of dry eyes include the sensation of a foreign object in the eye, blurred vision, and itchiness. To help keep the eyes appropriately lubricated, surgeons often recommend using drops before and after the procedure.
Similar to the visual side effects of LASIK surgery, dry eyes and irritation are all part of the healing process. The majority of LASIK patients report their symptoms have completely vanished within three to six months after the surgery.
Learn More About LASIK
If you are considering LASIK eye surgery, it is critical to meet with a skilled eye surgeon who will examine you and asses if the surgery is right for you. A qualified eye surgeon will be able to answer your questions and create a plan that ensures your LASIK eye surgery is both safe and effective.