Is Laser Eye Surgery Safe?

It’s a fair question. Vision is a precious asset that much of the human experience is centered on. The thought of anybody, even a trained professional with thousands of surgical hours, physically shaping the tissues in your eyes is a little gut-wrenching. Thankfully, if you’re a healthy, qualified candidate, there are many reasons to reconsider corrective laser eye surgery and put your fears to rest.

Dispelling myths and instilling confidence

Laser eye surgery (commonly referred to as Lasik) was developed as a corrective procedure in the early 1980s. Since then, the knowledge of vision impairment, the performing surgeons and the technologies involved have become increasingly exact. To date, there have been zero confirmed cases of blindness as a result of a Lasik surgery. No long-term side effects have been recorded either. And that’s with over 11 million procedures performed in the United States. 

The real risks involved with Lasik

Naturally, as with any surgery, there are risks associated with Lasik. Although the vast majority of Lasik surgeries have resulted in enhanced clarity and vision, there are still possible complications. 

  • Inflammation and infection
  • Reduced night vision—to include glare, halos and double vision
  • Abnormal wound healing and scar tissue
  • Uneven tissue removal—resulting in astigmatism
  • Severe dry eyes
  • Under correction and overcorrection—too little or too much tissue removal 

All of these risks can lead to temporary, and sometimes long-term, vision changes you were not expecting. And even when Lasik is successful, it’s always possible for your eyesight to regress back to its original state. Working with your eye doctor to address your concerns and stay informed is the best way to reduce your risks during the surgery.

Lasik may not be right for everyone

There are many ways to reduce vision impairment without surgery. If you have fairly good vision, Lasik may just be unnecessary. And if you have a severe or unique eye condition, a chronic illness like an autoimmune disorder, or your vision is changing, then laser eye surgery may pose too much of a risk. You’ll want to meet with a specialist to see if you are a good candidate for Lasik. 

Finding the right doctor

It’s important to research the Lasik centers and surgeons performing your procedure. Find the most experienced doctors and consult with them multiple times until you’re confident in their abilities. Centers advertising lower prices may have less-qualified surgeons or not provide the proper pre- and post-surgery care you require. Search for surgeons and Lasik centers covered under your VSP Individual Vision plan

Laser eye surgery is a brilliant medical innovation that has helped millions worldwide see the world in a new light—literally. And with modern science’s constant refinement, it is getting safer and safer every day. If you are still unsure, talk to your eye doctor. He or she will be able to tell you if Lasik is the right vision correction option for you. 

With a VSP Individual Vision Plan you can save hundreds on Lasik treatment in addition to saving on your next exam.