What Are The Side Effects Of Laser Eye Surgery?

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Side Effects

Whilst the procedure is very quick and does not hurt it is important to understand there are some risks and potential side effects with any surgery as shown below.

It’s common to experience some of the following side effects after your procedure but these will often disappear with time:

  • Vision changes. These include starbursts, glare, ghost images and halos. These are more common if you had a high prescription but should disappear within a few months.
  • Eye blurring and/or discomfort. As well as the dry sensation mentioned previously, some patients may find their eyes blur intermittently. Again, this should rectify itself within a few months.
  • Infection. Although rare, you are at risk of infection post-surgery, particularly if you’ve had a surface ablation (e.g. PRK).
  • Appearance. Red blotches can appear in the whites of your eyes and are caused by small blood leaks, but these aren’t harmful and don’t affect your eyes’ health. They should disappear within a few weeks.
  • Dry Eyes: Often reported by patients who have undergone LASIK laser surgery as a result of decreased tear production culminating in eye irritation and vision blurring. Up to half of laser eye surgery patients experience varying levels dry eye syndrome. Eye drops often help ease these symptoms.
  • Eye infection: Although rare, laser eye surgeons attest that the likelihood of infections occurring is high in surgeries that use surface ablations such as PRK. By using a natural bandage after surgery, a more sterile environment is created that foster proper healing after eye laser surgery.


Potential Risks

It should be noted that serious issues are rare and in the UK, regression occurs among only 5% of laser eye surgery patients. People who are likely to have regression are those with high prescriptions and/or are longsighted. Some possible risks include:

  • Glare, halos and double vision. Most common at night, these symptoms do tend to disappear within several.
  • Undercorrection or overcorrection. Sometimes, not enough or too much tissue is removed which may mean you need further surgery. The latter is harder to rectify due to the amount of tissue that’s already been removed.
  • Astigmatism. This occurs when tissue is removed unevenly and glasses, contact lenses or more surgery may be required.
  • Changes to, or loss, of vision. In extremely rare cases, vision loss can arise due to a complication in surgery. Some patients also find they can’t see as sharply or clearly as they did before the procedure.