Laser treatment for eyes can be an attractive alternative to glasses or contact lenses for correcting vision problems. During laser treatment, a surgeon uses a laser to alter the shape of your cornea and improve your vision.
Laser treatment can improve vision in those with near-sightedness, far-sightedness, or astigmatism. While this procedure is known to be safe, and effective, laser treatment for vision problems also has some side effects. Some are common, whereas others are rare.
The development of dry eyes is a common side effect of laser eye treatment. Laser eye surgery causes a temporary decrease in the production of tears.
Eye dryness can be irritating and painful, and it can also cause blurred vision. However, in most cases, it disappears within a few weeks. In the meantime, patients can use eye drops to keep their eyes from drying out and ease any irritation.
Temporary Visual Problems
Laser treatment for eyes can also cause temporary sight problems including visual glare, the appearance of halos around bright lights, starbursts, and double vision. Patients tend to notice these problems mostly when driving at night. They usually disappear within a few weeks of your surgery.
Laser treatment for visual problems often involves creating a flap on the surface of the cornea. The surgeon lifts this flap to reshape the interior section of the cornea underneath. The flap typically heals quickly with no issues.
However, in rare cases, patients experience problems including infection and abnormal tissue growth. These issues are extremely rare, and your eye surgeon will take great care during and after the procedure to prevent an infection from developing.
Longer-Term Visual Problems
Under-correction occurs when the laser removes too little corneal tissue, meaning you won’t see as much improvement in your vision as you might have hoped for and may require more surgery or other corrective measures.
Over-correction occurs when the surgeon removes too much tissue and is more complicated to fix than an under-correction. Another problem that can arise is astigmatism, caused by the uneven removal of corneal tissue. All of these are very rare, as your eye surgeon will program the laser to your exact prescription.
Regression in vision can also occur after your procedure. The surgery may improve your vision for a few weeks but, over time, it could regress due to a non-optimal healing process, requiring additional surgery, but this is also extremely rare.
Laser Eye Surgery is Safe and Effective
Serious side effects are incredibly rare if you follow the post-operative care instructions given to you by your eye surgeon. If you’re thinking about having laser eye surgery and you have any concerns about side effects, talk to your eye surgeon, who can address all your worries and give you peace of mind.