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Unveiling the Side Effects of LASIK Eye Surgery


Dec 25, 2023 | 4 min read

In the search of visual freedom, many individuals turn to LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) as a solution to correct refractive errors and goodbyes to glasses or contact lenses. While LASIK has revolutionized the field of ophthalmology, offering a quick and effective way to improve vision, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects associated with the procedure.


What is LASIK?


LASIK is a surgical procedure that reshapes the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye, using a laser. By altering the cornea’s curvature, LASIK can correct common vision issues such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. The surgery is relatively quick, usually taking around 15 minutes for both eyes, and is known for its high success rate. However, like any surgical intervention, LASIK comes with potential side effects and risks that should be considered.


Side Effects of Lasik Eye Surgery


  • Dry Eyes: One of the most common side effects of LASIK is dry eyes. The procedure can temporarily decrease tear production, leading to dryness, irritation, and a gritty sensation. Patients are often advised to use artificial tears to alleviate discomfort. In most cases, dry eyes improve over time as the eyes adjust to their new state.


  • Halos and Glare: Some patients may experience visual disturbances such as halos and glare, especially at night. These phenomena can affect the quality of vision and are more common in individuals with larger pupils. While these issues often diminish as the eyes heal, they may persist for some patients.


  • Sensitivity to Light: Sensitivity to light, known as photophobia, is another side effect that may occur after LASIK. This sensitivity can be temporary, and patients are usually advised to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from bright sunlight during the recovery period.


  • Fluctuating Vision: It’s normal for vision to fluctuate in the days or weeks following LASIK as the eyes adjust to their new shape. Some patients may experience periods of blurred vision or difficulty focusing during this adaptation period.


Less Common Side Effects


  • Under correction or Overcorrection: While LASIK aims to precisely reshape the cornea to achieve optimal vision correction, there is a small risk of under correction or overcorrection. This means that the desired level of vision may not be fully achieved, and additional procedures may be necessary to fine-tune the results.


  • Infection: Although rare, infection is a potential risk associated with any surgical procedure, including LASIK. Strict adherence to postoperative care and hygiene guidelines can help minimize this risk.


  • Corneal Haze: In some cases, the cornea may develop a haze, affecting the clarity of vision. This complication is more common in individuals with higher degrees of nearsightedness and usually improves with time or additional treatments.


  • Epithelial Ingrowth: Epithelial cells from the surface of the cornea may grow underneath the flap created during LASIK surgery. While this occurrence is generally mild and asymptomatic, severe cases may require additional intervention.


Long-term Considerations


  • Regression: Over time, some individuals may experience regression, where the eyes gradually revert to their pre-surgery prescription. This may necessitate additional procedures or the use of glasses for certain activities.


  • Chronic Dry Eyes: While most patients experience temporary dry eyes after LASIK, a small percentage may develop chronic dry eye syndrome. This condition requires ongoing management and may impact the overall comfort of the eyes.




LASIK has provided millions of people with improved vision and the freedom to live without the constraints of glasses or contact lenses.


However, like any medical procedure, it is not without its potential side effects and risks. It is crucial for individuals considering LASIK to have realistic expectations and thoroughly discuss potential side effects with their eye care specialists.


Ultimately, the decision to undergo LASIK should be based on a careful consideration of the benefits and risks, as well as a thorough evaluation of individual health and lifestyle factors.


With proper preoperative evaluation, postoperative care, and adherence to guidelines, many individuals can enjoy the benefits of LASIK with minimal side effects and a significant improvement in their quality of life.

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