LASIK, laser assisted in situ keratomileusis, is an outpatient surgical procedure used to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea (the clear “window” at the front of the eye). LASIK, like any surgery, has risks that need to be carefully considered.
LASIK risk rates, types and degrees vary widely from person to person. The most common side effects of LASIK are:
Changing and blurry vision
Light sensitivity and glare
Undercorrection or overcorrection
Nighttime haloes and starbursts
For most people these side effects resolve or decrease with time.
Approximately five percent are undercorrected and return for enhancements.
Rare sight-threatening complications of LASIK are:
Permanent vision loss
Problems with the “flap” that is created (or made) in the cornea during surgery
Foreign matter under flap
Fortunately, for some people, the side effects wear off or can be improved with glasses, contact lenses or additional laser surgery.
Facts And Statistics
In clinical studies, serious complication rates vary between zero and five percent.
Approximately five to 15 percent of LASIK patients return for enhancements (additional procedures to help improve vision after the first surgery).
Should I Have LASIK?
If considering LASIK, it is important to understand that LASIK is surgery and that results cannot be guaranteed. Before making a decision about getting LASIK, make sure our refractive surgeon fully explains the risks and benefits of the procedure. Those who expect perfect vision from LASIK may be disappointed.
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