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There are always LASIK eye surgery risks but for some potential patients, the risks associated with the procedure are too high. This includes, but is not limited to, patients who have less than 1.5 diopters of myopia, patients who have over 15 diopters of nearsightedness, patients who have a history of ocular herpes, patients who have blood vessels in the cornea, patients who have glaucoma, patients who are pregnant or nursing, patients who suffer from autoimmune diseases. These patients not only have a high probability of a poor outcome, but also run the risk of corneal thinning, corneal melts, corneal ulcers and irregular healing, as well as scleritis, episcleritis, keratitis and inflammation in the eye.
Patients who have an autoimmune disease are at an increased risk for LASIK surgery complications. Besides risking a poor outcome from the procedure, other LASIK surgery risks these patients endure include corneal thinning, corneal melts, corneal ulcers and irregular healing, as well as scleritis, episcleritis, keratitis and inflammation in the eye.
The correlation between patients with these conditions and LASIK complications was strong enough for both the Food and Drug Administration and the
There are certain risks involved when patients have LASIK surgery. The majority of patients who undergo the procedure are pleased with the results achieved as a result of the surgery. However, there are some patients who experience LASIK eye surgery problems. For these patients, correcting or otherwise dealing with these problems is very important.
Dry eye syndrome is just one of the LASIK eye surgery problems which may develop. Patients who have this problem may find it is not only uncomfortable but also impacts the quality of vision because blurring may occur. To correct this problem, the use of eye drops may be necessary either until the problem subsides or it can be corrected via another method. Other methods for correcting dry eyes may include the use of plugs or undergoing additional procedures.
Other patients may experience problems which result from the flap not healing correctly. In these cases, the quality of the vision may not be high even if the patient has good visual acuity. However, there is still a need to correct the problem and an additional surgical procedure to reattach the flap in the correct location may be necessary.
Complications with LASIK surgery are on the decline, but there is still the potential for problems with these procedures. In the late 1990s, as many as 5 percent of LASIK patients suffered from complications but currently less than 1 percent have complications following the procedure. In addition to the already low probability of complications, patients can help to avoid problems with LASIK with a few simple precautions including selecting a surgeon carefully, ensuring you are an ideal candidate for the procedure and carefully following the recovery guidelines.
The tips listed above are all beneficial in reducing the potential for problems with LASIK in different ways. Selecting the surgeon carefully is very important because it can help to prevent problems. LASIK surgery is a delicate procedure requiring a surgeon who is not only well qualified to perform the procedure, but also has a great deal of experience. Selecting a sub par surgeon can put the patient at risk for complications resulting from mistakes made by the surgeon. Patients should also confirm they are an ideal candidate for the procedure they select as well because failure to do so can put them at risk for problems which result from pre-existing conditions. Finally, failure to follow the recovery guidelines outlined by the surgeon puts the patient at risk for complications which stem from the eye not healing properly.
Laser eye surgery complications are becoming less frequent. When the procedure was first introduced approximately 5 percent of patients suffered complications. However, current data suggests less than 1 percent of patients now suffer from complications. Even with a diminished possibility of complications, patients can take precautions to minimize the potential for these complications. Two of these precautions include selecting a surgeon wisely and ensuring the patient is an ideal candidate for the procedure they select.
The experience and skill level of the surgeon can have a significant impact on the outcome of the procedure. For this reason, patients should select a surgeon carefully to ensure the surgeon who performs the procedure is highly skilled and has a great deal of experience.
Not all patients are ideal candidates for each laser eye procedure. Patients should be thoroughly screened to ensure they are an ideal candidate for whichever procedure they wish to undergo. This is important because failure to do so can put the patient at greater risk for complications.
Common laser eye surgery problems include dry eyes, poor vision and loss of vision. Although complications with laser eye surgery are relatively rare, there is still the potential for the procedure to have results with are less than ideal. Most of these problems are evident shortly after the procedure and some can be corrected through additional procedures and treatments. In addition to these short term problems which may arise, it is important to note laser eye surgery is a relatively new procedure and therefore there is no long term data available.
Dry eyes can be treated with either the use of eye drops, plugs or an additional procedure. Dry eyes may not prevent the patient from having 20/20 vision, but may cause problems with the quality of vision if there is substantial blurring which results from the dryness.
Laser eye surgery patients may also experience poor night vision after the procedure. This can make driving at night extremely difficult. This problem may be temporary and may subside over time. However, if the problem does not resolve naturally it may be necessary for the patient to undergo an additional procedure.
One of the side effects of LASIK is a decrease in the amount of lubrication in the eye. The nerves in the cornea are supposed to supply information to the gland that lubricates the eyes. However, in LASIK, the cornea nerves are cut and can't trasmit the need to supply lubrication to your eyes.
If your eyes are dry after LASIK, keep in mind that the corneal nerves should eventually heal and lubrication should return when the nerves have healed. There are instances when dry eyes continue to be a problem. If you suspect this is happening to you, please consult with your doctor.
LASIK, as with any surgery, comes with risks. The following are some complications associated with the LASIK procedure:
Flap Complications: Resulting from irregular flaps, such as folds or wrinkles from a poor cut. This results in visual aberrations.
Incomplete Corrections: Things such as over or under corrections. These result in blurred vision and poor vision.
Decentered Ablations: The result of this is visual aberrations.
Haze: Another complication that results in visual aberrations.
Infection: An infection could show itself with oozing, redness of the eyes, and pain.
These are just a small list of the complications associated with the LASIK procedure. Please speak to your doctor about all the complications that are possible.
In every endeavor you'll experience risks. You think that driving another day with poor eyesight is a risk you're not willing to take. Losing your contacts and having your eyes irritated is a risk you don't want to take long-term.
You know that more than one million people in the United States have had LASIK surgery and been satisfied with the results. However, you need to know the risks of LASIK vision correction. The FTC cautions that LASIK eye surgery is too new to predict the effects five years after you have LASIK surgery.
LASIK risks and complications, according to the FTC, include:
* Not being able to see as well, even with glasses or contacts, as you do before surgery--even with new eyeball Wavefront mapping technologies
* Decrease in seeing objects clearly--you may experience blurry or fuzzy vision
* Problems with night vision--you may still require glasses for night driving
* Corneal flap problems such as buttonhole flaps, flaps cut off entirely, ingrowth of cells under the epithelium--LASIK operates in a small area--and dislocated flaps.
* Light sensitivity (may be temporary)
* Dry eye syndrome caused or worsened by LASIK
* Complications from diabetes or high blood pressure
* Corneal scarring
* Irregular astigmatism
* Under- or over-correction of your myopia, hyperopia, etc., so that you may need additional surgery or contact lenses
But, you think, I've acquired 20/20 uncorrected vision! 20/20 uncorrected vision on the Snellen eye chart may not always mean your LASIK surgery was successful. If these LASIK risks and complications occur, you may need:
* Contact lenses
* Retreatments, say with custom LASIK
* Eyedrops--for dry eyes
* Antibiotics for infections
Anything you do carries risk, but when it comes to your sight, you should know the LASIK risks, whether you have healthy eyes or are nearly blind. Discuss the potential LASIK risks with your LASIK surgeon, and ask if you need to consider refractive surgery alternatives.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|