LASIK side effects complications, drawbacks and side effects

lasik side effects
Today, Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis or LASIK is the most common type of refractive surgery, accounting for more than 90% of refractive surgery procedures performed today. While LASIK is generally considered as safe and simple procedure that may decrease your dependence on spectacles and contacts, or allow you to do without thementirely, some people do experience temporary side effects after LASIK that usually disappear over time. This article highlights the same:

Accuracy related side effects
One of the common side effects of LASIK, an overcorrection or undercorrection could occur causing you to be nearsighted, farsighted, or to have astigmatism. This could be either permanent or treatable. However, overcorrection and under-correction are more likely to occur in people over the age of 40 years and may require the use of glasses or contacts for reading, intermediate, or for distance vision some or all of the time. Also, some patients may not get a full correction from LASIK procedure and this may require future enhancement procedures, other surgeries, or the use of glasses or contact lenses.

Problems with the night vision
Fortunately, most of the night vision related problems are temporary.  For example, at night there may be a "starbursting" or halo effect around lights. This condition is common right after surgery and usually diminishes with time, but could be permanent. As a result, your vision may not seem as sharp at night as during the day and you may need to wear glasses at night. Conditions that increase the likelihood of night vision problems include, but are not limited to: large pupils, age less than 30, high prescriptions, high astigmatism, thin corneas, or occupations requiring a lot of night driving.

Dry eye
"Dry eye" is not an uncommon side effect of LASIK. In fact, your eyes may be drier than usual after surgery causing some discomfort and blurred vision and requiring the use of moisturizing eye drops. However, this condition is common right after surgery and usually diminishes with time, but could be permanent. Conditions that increase the likelihood of dry eye problems include prior problems with dry eyes, arthritis, being post-menopausal, age greater than 50 years old, medications that dry the eyes, thyroid related eye problems, or doing a lot of near work or computer work.

Visual (eyesight related) side effects
Visual side effects such as glare, haloes, and starbursts around lights at night or poor vision at night occur in less than 1% of our patients. High risk patients for these side effects are identified and counseled pre operatively. Also, there may be increased sensitivity to light, glare, halos, a difference in the size of images (aniseikonia), and fluctuations in the sharpness of vision. While these conditions usually occur during the normal stabilization period from one to three months, they may also be permanent.

Irregular healing of the flap
Sometimes, irregular healing of the flap could result in a distorted cornea. This would mean that glasses or contact lenses may not correct your vision to the level possible before undergoing LASIK. If this distortion in vision is severe, a partial or complete corneal transplant might be necessary to repair the cornea.

Blurred vision
In rare cases, epithelium or surface skin of one or both eyes can loosen during surgery and this may delay my healing, heal irregularly, or heal inappropriately (grow under the flap). In some cases your eyes may not heal well causing blurred vision that glasses or contact lenses may not correct.

Corneal weakening
After LASIK, the eye may be more fragile to trauma from impact. Evidence has shown that, as with any surgery, the cornea may not be as strong as the cornea originally was. In such cases, the treated eye is somewhat more vulnerable to all varieties of injuries, at least for the first year following LASIK. It is, therefore, advisable for you to wear protective eyewear when engaging in sports or other activities in which the possibility of a ball, projectile, elbow, fist or other traumatizing object contacting the eye may be high.

Corneal perforation
Very rarely, something serious such as possible perforation of the cornea could occur, causing significant complications, including loss of some or all of your vision.

Severe problems can also be caused by an internal or external eye infection (corneal ulcers) that might not be controlled with antibiotics or other means.

Rare yet serious complications
In very rare circumstances, other very rare complications threatening vision may result. These include, but are not limited to: corneal swelling, corneal "melting", retinal detachment, hemorrhage, venous and arterial blockage, cataract formation, total blindness and even loss of the eye.

Last but not least, Lasik is a medical operation and surgical procedure and the risk of complications does exist. Fortunately, they are relatively rare, however. Another one of the most common issues associated with the LASIK is that Lasik is not 100% accurate and that you may still need glasses or contact lenses more frequently than you anticipated. Also, with careful patient selection, state of the art technology and an experienced surgeon and staff, such complications and side effects can be minimized. Therefore, in experienced and expert hands, Lasik is a safe and effective operation with minimal risks and affordable costs.

Learn more about side effects and complications of LASIK eye surgery on our forums!


I have to say I regret having lasik done. My doctor, Ellis visited with the new nurse the whole time he performed my surgery. I had to ask him to explain what he was doing. on the way home, the numbing drops wore off, and my eyes burned so badly, I could not open them or tolerate any light. We turned around to have my eyes checked, they told us everything was fine, and gave me Tylenol with codeine, a few days later I had used the 15 pills and my eyes still burned. Dr. Moore told mw he would not prescribe narcotics for me a ever. second time, because that would raise a red flag and they would be investigated because they had never at Lasikplus, ever prescription pain meds for anyone because lasik, it is not supposed to hurt, especially after a week. This gave me a personal red flag because I was in severe pain. I immediately contacted everyone I know that has had lasik. All of them had slight discomfort and could drive the next day. No one described the searing burning sensations I have. One eye is blurry and the other has limited vision. I went in they told me my reaction was NORMAL and no more pain meds. Dr. Moore said I might be able to talk Dr. Ellis into it, but not him. He thought I was not in pain and lying about my discomfort. I called the home office (I think) to make a complaint. The woman I spoke to said her Doctor gave her pain meds, when she had her lasik, but it didn't last as long as my pain did. If you aren't supposed to have pain the next day, why do I have pain a week later???? I have to be concerned first of all, the doc says I should not be in pain, and I am, secondly, they assume I am lying just to get Tylenol 3 with codeine. I am not sure which bothers me more, this is a med over the counter in Mexico, Canada and Puerto rico.

After my 3rd exam, Dr. Ellis determined I needed my lower tear ducts blocked to help with the dry eye and I needed Tylenol 3 bc I was in severe pain and I had an abrasion on my left eye. He put plugs in my lower tear ducts to help with the dry eye.

Prior to that, Dr. Moore said I had the abrasion, dry eye, and that I just needed to suffer through it as pain med was not an option, I asked for numbing drops instead and he said no.he would give me drops but only to lubricate. No other treatment. This doc was rude, uncaring and not wanting to address the pain I was in. Definitely, not interested in controlling or managing my pain.

After looking up the fDA reports on Lasik, I found that 22 percent have severe pain 1 week after the procedure.