Lasik Side Effects

Possible LASIK Complications

It is important to be aware that as with all surgery, complications can occur. Serious LASIK side effects are uncommon and occur in 1% or less of patients. Here is a list of the more common complications:

A eye chart with blurry small letters

1. Loss of Best Corrected Visual Acuity

As a result of poor wound healing or cornea flap complications, irregular astigmatism, cornea scarring or haze may develop. The problem usually improves with time and use of steroid eye drops. Affected patients may suffer a drop in their best-corrected visual acuity. Usually the loss is limited to one or two lines of the standard vision chart.

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2. Glare and Halos

Some patients may experience bothersome light sensitivity and glare or complain halos. The effect are usually most noticeable at night, when looking at light sources or in patients with large pupils. These can limit one’s ability to drive, work or operate certain equipment particularly at night. The problem usually improves with time. However, the problems may persist indefinitely in some patients.

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3. Corneal Flap Complications

These include incomplete or irregular cutting of flap, flap dislodgement or loss of corneal flap, misalignment or shifting of flap, folds or wrinkling of flap, instability of flap which required sutures, epithelial in-growth underneath the flap, interface inflammation (Sands of Sahara or DLK) and infection.

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4. Persistent Post-Lasik Dry Eyes

This is caused by corneal nerve damage as a result of corneal flap cutting through the nerve endings. Our corneal nerve plays a vital role in tear production and studies have showed that the nerve injury may not be fully recovered even 3 years after Lasik.

Important Note: The risks of these “flap related” complications are eliminated or greatly reduced with Epi-Lasik as NO cornea flap is created. Read our comparison between Epi-Lasik and Lasik.

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5. Under or over-correction of the intended power can occur

Due to individual differences in wound healing, under or over-correction is less acceptable than under-correction. While an under-corrected eye can still see well for near without lenses, an over-corrected eye will need lenses to see well for both near and distance. If significant under-correction has occurred, re-treatment may be recommended. For over-correction, treatment is difficult. For these reasons, most doctors will deliberately aim for a slight under-correction when doing myopia refractive surgery in patients with high myopia (near sightedness).