Laser Eye Surgery - What are the Potential Side Effects?
With the ever-growing popularity of laser eye surgery and the continual
advancements in the procedures and technology, the primary concern of many
people considering the surgery is this: what are the potential side effects?
The good news is that both PRK (photorefractive keratectomy laser eye surgery
designed to correct mild myopia and astigmatism) and Lasik procedures involve
few risks. In fact, serious vision-threatening complications are minimal.
However, as with any form of surgery, there can be potential side effects. Here
are the most common side effects that can result from laser eye surgery:
Infection And Delayed Healing
Approximately one-tenth of one percent of all patients suffer from a corneal
infection after undergoing PRK. Slightly fewer face an infection after Lasik. A
cornea infection will not result in any long-term effects, however there
generally is some additional discomfort and the healing process is slower.
Even though tremendous advances have been made in laser eye surgery, a surgeon
cannot predict precisely how your eyes will respond to the procedure. In some
cases, you might need to continue to wear corrective lenses after surgery. If
the results are particularly unsatisfactory, you do have the option to undergo a
second surgical procedure to improve your vision.
Decrease In Best-Corrected Vision
After laser eye surgery, a few patients find that their best-corrected vision
with contact lenses is actually worse than it was before the surgery. This is a
rare occurrence, but can occur if there's been irregular tissue removal or if a
corneal haze has developed.
Excessive Corneal Haze
Corneal haze is not unusual. In fact, it's part of the normal recovery process
after refractive surgery. Generally, it won't affect your final vision, and will
only be evident to an ophthalmologist using a microscope. However, in some cases,
excessive corneal haze does interfere with your final vision. In such a case, it
can often be corrected with a second surgery. Also worth noting, the risk of encountering
excessive corneal haze is much lower with Lasik eye surgery than with PRK.
Regression is exactly as it sounds: for some patients, after a period of several
they find their vision returning to its pre-surgery state. In other words, they
find the surgery to be ineffective. A second surgical procedure is usually
possible in such cases.