LASIK is one of the safest, most effective and predictable types of surgery one can have today. However, LASIK is surgery, and as with any type of surgery, there are side effects that patients should be aware of and fully understand before consenting to have LASIK.
The most common side effect of LASIK is dry eyes. It usually lasts three to six months and can be treated with medicated eye drops. Some patients may develop severe dry eye syndrome. As a result of surgery, your eye may not be able to produce enough tears to keep the eye moist and comfortable. Dry eye not only causes discomfort, but also can reduce vision due to intermittent blurring and other visual symptoms. This condition may be permanent. Intensive drop therapy and use of plugs or other procedures may be required. Other possible side effects of LASIK are halos around lights, particularly at night, reduced vision due to glare from lights or the sun and a scratchy sensation due to dry eyes after LASIK surgery. The under or over correction of the vision error is possible and may require additional surgery. Pink or red spots on the white of the eye may be visible after LASIK surgery.
Severe side effects are less common but still possible. As with most surgical procedures, infection and inflammation may occur requiring antibiotics or even another surgery. A problem with the corneal flap such as wrinkles or a shifted flap, although rare, could require surgical treatment. There is a small chance that, even after additional surgery, vision will be worse than it was before surgery.
Your chances of experiencing side effects from LASIK eye surgery increase if you already suffer from certain eye conditions such as dry eye, Keratoconus (deterioration of the cornea), thin corneas, and previous eye surgeries. Other health issues also can contribute to problems with LASIK surgery. A comprehensive evaluation for complicating conditions should be completed before undergoing the operation.