Did you know that any time a patient undergoes surgery, even one as minimally invasive and low risk as LASIK, there are side effects that occur after surgery? Side effects differ from complications in that it is normal and common for patients to experience temporary side effects after surgery. Complications, such as infection or flap problems, are rare and a cause for patient concern. In this blog post, the experts at our Monterey eye care center provide an overview of the side effects that can be expected after LASIK surgery. Next month, check back for our blog post detailing the potential complications of LASIK surgery.
Pain is one of the most feared side effects of LASIK surgery. Some patients describe a burning, gritty, or uncomfortable sensation in the eyes after LASIK. However, discomfort does not last long and can be alleviated by going down for a nap immediately upon return home from surgery, taking oral pain medication, and using lubricating eye drops.
Sensitivity to Light
The eyes are more sensitive than normal after LASIK surgery, particularly when exposed to light. Patients should avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible for the first few days after LASIK. When outside, we recommend that patients wear sunglasses.
Although LASIK surgery results in an immediate improvement in patient’s vision, the vision may be slightly blurry or fuzzy for the first day or two after surgery as the eyes heal and adjust.
During LASIK surgery, the nerves in the eyes are temporarily disabled. As a result, patients may experience some tearing of the eyes in the days or weeks after surgery.
Some of our Monterey LASIK patients may experience tearing of the eyes due to short-term nerve damage, while other patients may experience a feeling of dryness in the eyes after LASIK surgery. The symptoms of dry eye can be treated with moisturizing eye drops until this side effect subsides.
Halos, Glare, and Starbursts
As the flap is healing, patients may experience side effects such as halos, glare, or starbursts around light sources. These after effects should go away within one month of surgery.
Poor Night Vision
After LASIK, patients may have difficulty seeing in low light conditions due to poor contrast sensitivity and the appearance of halos, glare, and starbursts around light sources. As the corneal flap and eyes heal from surgery, the patient’s ability to see at night should improve.
For the vast majority of patients, LASIK side effects subside by one month after surgery. If these side effects linger for more than a month after surgery, schedule a post-operative visit with your LASIK surgeon. When LASIK side effects last more than a few weeks, it may be an indication that a complication has developed.
To learn more about the side effects of LASIK, or to schedule a LASIK screening at Monterey County Eye Associates, we invite you to contact our practice. Our eye surgeons will be happy to evaluate the health of your eyes and recommend the best possible treatment solutions.