How Safe Is LASIK?
LASIK vision correction has changed dramatically since the technology’s introduction. Prior to 1998, most surgical vision correction included the use of a scalpel-like tool to cut the corneal tissue and a high-powered laser to make an indentation on the cornea. Unfortunately, due to use of a blade, the early LASIK procedure often left patients with pain and an inability to perform routine daily activities for days, if not weeks, after the procedure. However, technology has advanced dramatically, and modern LASIK procedures are starkly different from the procedures of the past. Let’s take a look at how much safer modern LASIK procedures have become.
How Is LASIK Safer Today?
As technology has advanced, the wavelength of an excimer laser (the type of laser that reshapes the cornea) has decreased. Ultimately, this means the cut and peripheral impact from the laser is lessened. Unlike in the past, the modern LASIK procedure has a reduced chance of resulting in permanent vision problems. In fact, a study conducted by the FDA, National Eye Institute, and Department of Defense, reports the FDA, found less than one percent of those who have LASIK eye vision correction experience major complications or “a lot of difficulty” in performing routine tasks immediately after surgery.
The most common side effect or complication after surgery is the occurrence of dry eye symptoms, which generally goes away after a few months with routine drop use.
How Quickly Will LASIK Improve Vision?
Most people can see clearly immediately and have full stabilization in vision just a few days after surgery, but some may need up to 3 to 6 months for the procedure to be most effective.
As with all medical procedures, LASIK vision correction does carry some potential risks and side effects. These include infection and inflammation, but the overall complication rate has dropped significantly since LASIK was first approved by the FDA in 1998, asserts the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Following the postoperative instructions is imperative for healing after LASIK, and often complications are caused by disregard for them. There is no one-size-fits-all procedure, and with advanced technology, our surgeons are able to customize each procedure to the unique needs of each patient.
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