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The Risks of Laser Eye Surgery

13th March, 2013  

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Before considering laser eye surgery, please be aware that, like any surgery, there will be risks involved. However, please feel assured that there is a very low risk of complications occurring during surgery (The Royal College of Ophthalmologists state that complications occur in less than 5% of cases). Before surgery, please read this article so you aware of any risks involved so you feel completely sure that this is the type of surgery for you.

The main risk associated with the treatment is having ‘dry eyes’. Having dry eyes usually occurs after having LASIK eye surgery more than any other procedure. During LASIK eye surgery, a blade is used to cut a flap in the eye and if a deep flat is cut, then more damage can occur to the eye – resulting in dry eyes. However, this risk is reduced if the clinic uses a laser as lasers create shallower flaps in the eye.

This damage is not permanent, dry eye should reduce as the eye heals. Rates of healing depend on the individual so healing could take anything between a few days to a year. In order to help the uncomfortable feeling of dry eyes, eye drops can alleviate the discomfort.

As well as dry eyes, some people suffer with halos after laser eye surgery. Halos appear around reflective or bright objects and are more prominent at night time. Halos, like dry eyes, will reduce within time. Other than waiting for halos to reduce over time, some people may find certain types of eye drops can lessen the effects, and so can a pair of night driving glasses.

Another risk to be aware of is infection of the cornea. Again, this is a very rare risk, with chance of infection being similar to the chance of getting an infection from wearing contact lenses, with the risk being reduced with LASIK eye surgery.

You should not be deterred from having surgery after reading this article. It is advisable that you read about all the relevant risks and any other factors that may affect you before deciding to have surgery. The NHS provide laser eye surgery guidelines that can assist you further in making an educated and informed decision. Remember, if you are having surgery, to go to the initial assessment with a list of questions to ask the surgeon. This list can ask about the procedure or potential risks – just make sure you feel fully comfortable before you have surgery.

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