Does laser eye surgery hurt?

Laser Eye Surgery Risks

What are the risks of laser eye surgery?

If you’re thinking about having laser eye surgery, it’s understandable you might be concerned about the risks.

With millions of patients all over the world now happily living with clearer vision, you’ll be pleased to hear laser eye surgery has proved to be a low risk procedure.

As with any medical operation, some risks are associated with this type of procedure, but the good news is serious complications are almost unheard of.

According to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, complications occur in less than 5% of cases and within this minority, there have been no reported cases of blindness resulting from LASIK or LASEK surgery.

Most complications are not serious, while sight-threatening risks are very rare.

Common risks & complications

Dry eyes

One of the most common risks, dry eyes can cause stinging, burning and watery symptoms.

This condition can be treated with specific medication and usually clears-up within after a couple of weeks.

In rare cases, dry eyes persist and can detriment the healing process. If you’re prone to dry eyes, you should consult your practitioner before having the operation.

Impaired night vision

Another risk is the loss of night vision, caused by glare or halos – particularly when driving. This is why it’s wise to avoid driving for at least a week following laser eye surgery.

Again, impaired night vision is usually only a temporary condition which naturally clears over time.

Eye infection

It is very rare for infection to occur , but if it does, this can be treated with antibiotic eye drops.

Corneal flap complications

Corneal flap complications can occur if sub-standard equipment is used, but this shouldn’t happen if you choose a reputed clinic.

Corneal flap complications usually happen if the cornea is very flat, which can cause a cap when the cornea flap is cut, or the opposite – a button-hole might appear during the cutting procedure.

This is a risk which could occur if the surgeon is under-qualified. It’s unlikely to happen with a highly qualified practitioner.

Alternatively, the flap could dislodge after the operation if proper care isn’t taken to make a gentle recovery. That’s why it’s important to listen to the after-care advice from your practitioner.

A dislodged flap can be repaired through further surgery.

In-growing cells

It is a very rare laser eye surgery risk, but it has been known for surface cells to grow underneath the corneal flap following the procedure. This is caused by trapped debris and can also be corrected by more surgery.

Temporary loss of vision

Although this is another extremely rare risk, some patients experience a temporary loss of vision in the week following the treatment, which gradually clears during the healing process.

How to stay safe 

You can reduce the risks and side effects of laser eye surgery by choosing an experienced practitioner, who is qualified to the correct industry standard.

As a guide, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists suggests practitioners should be fully qualified ophthalmic surgeons, who have extra training in the area.

This is where we can help, as we will put you in touch with the highest quality laser eye clinics in your area.

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