LASIK Eye Surgery, Is It Safe?
You've heard all the hype... LASIK Eye Surgery is THE way to go to not only see well but also ban your clunky eyeglasses and case from your home forever.
But is LASIK safe? As with any medical procedure, you'll want to be sure you have the most up to date information before investing in a new way of looking at the world at large.
LASIK Side Effects
As with any form of surgery, LASIK does carry with it some risks. It is important you know seeking the care and guidance of an experienced LASIK surgeon often minimizes the risk of complications. When it comes to your eye health, less expensive may not always be best. You want to be certain you select a health care professional with appropriate credentials and experience performing LASIK procedures.
This will help reduce your risk of side effects and complications.
Recent studies suggest that up to 5% of patients undergoing LASIK procedures will experience some mild side effects. Generally complication risks are minimized when patients for the procedure are carefully screened and selected.
Most of the side effects associated with LASIK treatments are relatively minor, and most not permanent.
Most Common LASIK Complications
Some of the more common complications associated with LASIK surgery involve the eye flap, or area of the eye that covers the cornea. This flap is cut during the LASIK procedure so patient's cornea can be re-shaped using a laser. The flap is then replaced.
At times the flap may be incorrectly cut or injured. Fortunately there is a new procedure that minimizes this risk known as IntraLase. While a more expensive alternative, many patients are choosing this procedure over traditional procedures to reduce the risk of injury associated with a traditional blade cut to the corneal flap.
Some patients may experience aberrations that distort vision. For example, certain patients may experience nighttime halos resulting from LASIK surgery. Some patients may experience inflammation or scarring, a corneal reaction to surgery that occurs when the cornea detects the presence of foreign matter in the eye.
Prompt treatment is necessary if this occurs to prevent vision loss. Fortunately even complicated side effects such as this can be treated with medications including antibiotics to help prevent the risk of permanent injury.
There is also a small chance some patients may experience a condition known as "irregular astigmatism" resulting from LASIK surgery. This results when the corneal surface is not centered correctly on the eye. Some patients may experience double vision, requiring additional treatment.
Other more common side effects include dry eye, infection, irritation, some swelling or inflammation and temporary redness. These often resolve after a short time.
Fortunately in many cases the results of LASIK surgery are unquestionably positive. It is important your health care provider screen you carefully to determine your eligibility for the procedure. Some patients are more likely to respond negatively than others. Your doctor will be able to assess the likelihood you will have a positive healing response and positive results from any corrective procedure.
People who have severe vision problems prior to surgery are more likely for example to experience LASIK regression, a condition where the quality of their vision gradually decreases. Their healing times may also be longer. Fortunately enhancement procedures can often be used to help resolve any residual problems or imperfections associated with LASIK treatment.
Remember the most important determinant of your response is selection of an experienced surgeon. Make sure you look for someone who has worked on multiple patients using various LASIK techniques. Don't by shy about asking for a referral and someone's credentials. A competent surgeon will have no trouble providing you references to check in with.
Learn more about LASIK complications and safety on our forums!
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