Laser eye surgery is a safe and super effective refractive surgery that helps people restore their vision to its initial perfect state or even better. Millions of people have given success stories of how laser eye surgery changed their lives. You can also be on your way to making the same bold statement.
However, as much as laser eye surgery sydney can help you see more clearly, it is essential to know that it can come with a few side effects. The good news is that you can minimize those risks or even prevent them.
Usually, most of the risks and health complications that come with laser eye surgery result from incompetence or inadequate information about the patient’s health conditions. Hence, the best way to minimize or prevent risk is to work with an experienced laser surgeon with massive track records to show for it.
Ideally, experts would have scheduled a date for questioning and answering to get every necessary fact that can aid problem-free procedure and produce an excellent result. You must be sure your optometrist examines you thoroughly at each consultation and ask essential questions at each stage
Additionally, be sure that the surgery centre has all the required diagnostic technology, a friendly team of trained staff, and up-to-date surgery equipment. Also, you must be sure the surgeon performs all testing entirely and to a very high standard.
Notwithstanding, you need to educate yourself about all the likely side effects that follow laser eye surgery when things don’t go as planned. This article will expose you to five side effects of laser eye surgery and provide ways to minimize or avoid them.
5 Side Effects of Laser Eye Surgery and How to Prevent Them
1. Dry eye
Dry eye after laser eye surgery is typically a temporary phenomenon. Still, it can become a longer-term problem if surgeons don’t evaluate patients appropriately before surgery.
Dry eye after LASIK and PRK occurs because the artificial nerve endings on the corneal surface need to regenerate. The Cornea is a little numb and doesn’t have the sensation required to trigger tear production. Additionally, nerve endings produce chemical messengers.
Long-term dryness can occur if an underlying problem has not been diagnosed and treated adequately before surgery.
Symptoms: Grittiness, burning, fluctuating vision, pain
How To Prevent:
- Ensure the surgery centre performs dry eye tests, such as Schirmer’s test for tear production and Tear Break-Up Time. Make sure your surgeon is also knowledgeable about dry eye.
- Ask your doctor if you have Meibomian Gland that is still active to help to prevent tears from evaporating too quickly.
- Before your laser eye surgery, consider taking re-esterified Omega 3 supplements to improve your Meibomian gland function.
- Take preservative-free eye drops frequently after your procedure.
- Take breaks from computer screens. Every 20 mins, close your eyes for 30 seconds and look out for 20 seconds – then you can resume work.
2. Halos and Glare
For some days before Laser eye surgery, ALL patients experience halos. That is because the fluid in the treated Cornea causes light to toss. Once the fluid clears, the halos vanish. However, some patients develop permanent halos following surgery and find their symptoms are worse at night (left-hand image). This problem is a product of induced aberrations which have delivered older forms of treatments that are not Aspheric in profile. The good news is that the issue does not occur very often. Everything is fine if patients are selected correctly and the correct treatment customized for each eye is delivered correctly.
How to Prevent:
- Ensure the surgeon measure your pupil size in dim light
- Ensure your doctor is experienced in Laser eye surgery and understands the significance of high-order aberrations.
- Ask your surgeon if you will receive an ASPHERIC treatment on your Cornea. Good spectacles have “Aspheric” lenses to provide the best quality vision. You have to be sure your physician plans to make your Cornea aspheric.
- Ensure the surgery centre has laser technology that’s up to the minute.
Like all refractive procedures, there’s a risk of eye infection. Fortunately, the risk of eye infection in laser eye surgery is minimal. The disease risk from highest to lowest is LASEK, PRK, blade -LASIK and IntraLASIK, with a femtosecond Laser carrying the lowest risk. The risk of infection after IntraLASIK in excellent eye centres is 1 in 10,000 cases.
How to Prevent:
- Go to a reputable centre which has an excellent Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating
- Ask about the environment they want to carry out the laser eye surgery. Is the air filtered, and what is the exchange rate per hour? 10 per hour is the minimum required; many use 15 per hour.
- Ask what antibiotics are used in preoperative preparation and during surgery. These antibiotics are powerful and eliminate a wide variety of bacteria.
This condition is where the Cornea is more elastic than usual and, following laser eye surgery, can become unstable. The Cornea becomes “ecstatic”; in other words, it bulges and thins over time. That results in a change in vision with the requirement to wear glasses initially. Astigmatism increases and causes continuing problems. Ectasia can occur in both Lasik and PRK/LASEK surgery. There are tell-tale signs on the Cornea that the surgeon can pick up using sophisticated corneal mapping, biomechanic checks and corneal epithelial thickness mapping
How to Prevent:
- The best person to be able to determine whether you are at risk or not is a surgeon who has specialized in the Cornea. Specialized corneal surgeons have experience with Keratoconus, a condition where the Cornea is elastic and bulges. They are very familiar with the type of tests used to check for this condition and subtle signs of the infection.
- Ask if three-dimensional tomography devices like the Pentacamare available to evaluate the Cornea.
- Does the centre use biomechanical checks to determine corneal elasticity
5. Flap complications
Flap complications such as buttonholes, partial flaps, and irregular fragmented flaps have been consistent in Lasik laser eye surgery.
After introducing the IntraLase femtosecond laser for the flap, complications are now rare. The use of the new-tech femtosecond laser is the golden standard.
How To Prevent:
- Ask the treating centre if they will use an IntraLase laser for creating the corneal flap in the LASIK procedure
- Ask your physician how long they have performed the surgery and for how long they have used IntraLASE.
Laser eye surgery is a new level of refractive procedure that is liberating. It is crucial that you make the right choice. Becoming well educated is a good first start. Next, find a good surgeon and eye centre who can deliver exceptional care. A good tip is to go where other eye surgeons go for care.
More to read: 5 Symptoms You Need Laser Eye Surgery