Common Laser Eye Surgery Complications
Every year, millions of people have corrective surgery done on their eyes. With businesses and insurance companies starting to chip in on the cost, many people are finding laser surgery to be an affordable and effective way to clear up vision problems and remove cataracts.
While complications from laser eye surgery arise in only about 1-5% of the cases, it is always a good idea to be aware of the potential risks associated with laser surgery before you pick up the phone to schedule a consultation with an eye specialist. Some common laser eye surgery complications include:
The risk of infection is common with any surgery you may have on your body. However, when it comes to the eyes, an untreated infection can cause scarring on the cornea or result in a complete loss of vision. To combat possible infection, most doctors will prescribe antibiotics and schedule regular post-op visits to monitor the eye as it heals.
Under Correction/Over Correction
Since eyes are as unique as the individual they belong to, it is safe to say that the variables that dictate how laser surgery will affect the eye will vary greatly from patient to patient. Some factors, such as how quickly the eye heals and how much water is in the cornea, are beyond the surgeon’s control and can cause either an under correction or over correction of vision.
Treatment options are available if either of these laser surgery complications occur. Patients may be prescribed glasses or contacts to fix the problem. In extreme cases, patients may be pulled back under the knife for additional surgical corrections.
Although rare, post operative scarring can cause the cornea to warp producing a condition called induced astigmatism – blurry or distorted vision as the result of laser surgery. Unfortunately, in these cases, patients will be required to continue using specially design contact lenses or glasses to correct their vision.
Some patients view laser surgery as a cure all and are unpleasantly surprised when they are told they still need to wear glasses for reading. Laser surgery does not treat or prevent the decline of near vision as the individual nears middle age. Unless you are especially lucky, everyone will eventually need to wear reading glasses.
Despite the risks, most people get through laser eye surgery just fine and according the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, 93% of patients are happy with the results. Complications from laser eye surgery can be minimized if you are careful. Just be sure to take your time and choose a good eye surgeon. When it comes to your eyes, you only get one pair.