What are the risks of having laser vision correction?

The most common risks of having laser vision correction are dry eyes and glare.  Patients at higher risk for post-op dry eyes include patients that have problems with their contact lenses, experience burning or stinging late in the day are usually over the age of 40, are female, have hyperopic prescriptions, or use medications known to contribute to dryness, like anti-depressants or anti-histamines.  We use Restasis pre-op for a few weeks and continue it post-op for a few months if needed.  Restasis reduces inflammation and helps your eyes produce more tears.  This allows for a more healthy ocular surface and more consistent post op results.

The next most common complaint is post operative glare and halos.  Halos and starbursts occur around bright lights at night.  The reason for this is that at night, the pupil may dilate to be larger than the flap leading to the edge of the flap causing visual distortion of light that does not occur during the day when the pupil is smaller. The eyes can be examined for large pupils preoperatively and the risk of this symptom can be discussed with your doctor.  It takes time for your eyes to adjust to your newly corrected vision.  We recommend all of our patient wear sunglasses while outdoors.  For most patients, glare, halos, and starbursts that are experienced after your LASIK surgery are only temporary.

The risk of having dry eyes and glare or halos varies from patient to patient because everyone heals differently.  We do many tests preoperatively to determine if you are at a higher risk for any type of post operative risk or complication.  We want you to achieve the best visual result possible.  Laser vision correction is a life changing procedure but you want to make sure you are in the hands of a skilled surgeon and that you are seen regularly for your post op visits so that any dry eye issues or glare concerns can be addressed and treated appropriately.

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