LASIK: Worth It?

Revised and Updated by Seth Preston on: September 30, 2019

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a common option for those that have difficulty with depreciated vision with Myopia or Hyperopia. There’s a fair amount of risk, but a large reward when it comes to undergoing LASIK surgery.

 

The common cutoff for considering Lasik surgery is 40 years old, an age range roundly agreed upon as the downhill slope to vision loss. There’s a lot of questions that arise when an individual is considering LASIK as a solution. Will it work? Will it hurt? What are the long term ramifications of pursuing this surgery? Through modern advances in refractive surgery technology, the process is quick, simple, and for the most part painless.

The video below highlights the process and possible side effects of LASIK.

That offers a fun, approachable snapshot of what to expect with LASIK. What Johnathan doesn’t get into detail about is the common risk factors associated with pre-op screening. If the following applies to you, you may not qualify for LASIK.

  • Too thin or irregular corneas
  • Large pupils
  • High refractive error
  • Unstable vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Your age
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you have certain degenerative or active autoimmune disorders

 

Let’s dive deeper into the side effects of LASIK.

LASIK COMPLICATIONS: HOW THEY AFFECT YOU, HOW THEY’RE TREATED
ComplicationsSymptomsTreatments
Incomplete corrections (undercorrection, overcorrection, residual astigmatism) or regression of effectBlurry, less-than-perfect visionGlasses or contact lenses; eye drops; re-treatment with laser
Decentered ablationsVisual aberrations*Eye drops; re-treatment with laser
Oversize pupilsVisual aberrations*Eye drops; re-treatment with laser
HazeVisual aberrations*Eye drops; re-treatment with laser
Irregular flap (folds, wrinkles, striae)Visual aberrations*Surgical correction; second laser procedure
Dry eyeDry, itchy or scratchy eyes, often with redness and sense of foreign object in eye, and sometimes painPrescription dry eye medication; artificial tears; punctal occlusion (blockage of tear ducts in order to retain tear film on eye), oral flaxseed oil
Diffuse lamellar keratitis (eye inflammation)Visual aberrations*Eye drops; surgical rinsing of cells if severe
Epithelial ingrowthVisual aberrations*Surgical removal of epithelium
InfectionRedness, oozing of eyes, sometimes painEye drops; oral medications

 

If you weigh the risk factors, ease of operation, and side effects of LASIK, does the notion still appeal to you?

Sources:

http://www.allaboutvision.com/visionsurgery/lasik_complication_1.htm