Visual Irregularities: Some LASIK patients report seeing a number of visual irregularities for months or years after the surgery. These irregularities can include blurry vision, the appearance of ghosts or other artifacts, halos and starbursts around lights, and a significant loss of the ability to see details.
Eye infections: Eye infections are much more common and often are more severe after receiving LASIK surgery. It is believed that the laser creates a permanent opening in the eye that is vulnerable to bacteria and other infections.
Inability to cry or tear: Damage to the corneal nerves during LASIK surgery can cause permanent damage to the tear ducts and thus the ability for tears to form. Not only is this disconcerting, but it can also cause damage to the eye due to the inability of the eye to moisturize and lubricate itself. All studies thus far have shown this damage to be permanent.
Long-term damage to the cornea: Many LASIK patients experience a significant decrease in the number of keratocyte cells in their cornea. This decrease can lead to long-term damage of the cornea and the overall health of the eye.
Cataract surgery difficulties: Cataract surgery can be made more difficult after LASIK surgery because the shape of the eye has been permanently altered. Many times, LASIK patients will have to use glasses again after receiving cataract surgery.
Difficulty diagnosing glaucoma: LASIK surgery can make diagnosing glaucoma more difficult due to the changes in ocular pressure. This can lead to vision loss caused by undiagnosed glaucoma.
Corneal transplant: LASIK permanently thins and thereby weakens the cornea. This can lead to the need for a cornea transplant, despite a LASIK surgery being deemed “successful”.
Corneal flap dislocation: The corneal flap is altered during every LASIK surgery. However, in some cases, this eventually leads to a dislocated corneal flap.
Although these problems certainly deserve very serious consideration, fortunately there are a number of treatments to remedy them. They include:
- Specially designed contact lenses and “intacts” (micro-thin implants)
- Collagen cross linking.
- Scleral buffer lenses to protect the weakened cornea.