During laser eye surgery, a laser is used to reshape the surface of the eye. This popular form of laser corneal sculpting is used to correct short-sightedness, uneven curvature of the surface of the eye or to correct long-sightedness. Laser eye surgery does not mean that you will never have to wear glasses again. Many people find that they will still need to wear glasses at night or whilst reading.
This surgery will, however, improve your natural vision. Most surgery comes with side effects, and laser eye surgery is no exception.
Post operation, you may suffer from dry eyes, which will require you to use preservative free lubricating eye drops. Dry eye syndrome is common in the weeks or months following laser eye surgery. If you suffered from poor tear production or dry eyes prior to surgery, you are more likely to suffer major dry eye problems after surgery.
As a result of laser eye surgery, you may experience starbursts, fuzzy rings of light or halos of light.
Over or under correction
This can be as a result of under or over treatment where slightly less or more of the laser energy is absorbed by the patient than expected. It may be necessary to undergo a second procedure known as enhancement or a touch-up to achieve optimal results. On occasions, the patient may undergo an uncharacteristic healing response. Under correction or over correction occurs in patients with farsightedness or nearsightedness, as they require a larger amount of treatment. This is the primary reason why not all people have perfect vision after their initial treatment.
A further procedure may be required if superficial scarring occurs. Corneal haze and scarring usually only occurs following large corrections. It is common for vision to be hazy in the first week or so after the procedure. This is a normal part of the healing process. The haze will disappear by itself.
Often the eyes become sensitive after laser eye surgery. Extra precautions will need to be taken when driving. Another side effect can be diminished night vision. Sensitivity to glare and harsh sunlight can also be a side effect of laser eye surgery. Light sensitivity can occur for up to 6 months after surgery. It is rare for this sensitivity to be permanent. During the healing period, it is recommended that sunglasses be worn.
Immediately after a laser eye operation you will experience minor discomfort. Some people experience pain for up to 72 hours after surgery. You will be prescribed an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication to help minimise any pain. Plastic shields will need to be worn over the eyes for several nights to prevent you from rubbing the eyes.The Dryeye.com.au website gives useful tips on eye care. Before any surgery is undertaken, your surgeon will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for this particular type of procedure. Laser eye surgery can produce side effects but these usually diminish in the first six weeks after surgery. However, it can take up to 6 months for fluctuations in vision to disappear.
Featured image By Capt’ Gorgeous (Ben Salter) via Flickr shared under CC BY 2.0 license.