Modern LASIK surgery is safe and predictable, but it is still surgery, and like any surgery, it has risks and potential side effects and complications.
Dry eyes. This is one of the most common side effects of LASIK surgery. The reshaping of the cornea by the excimer laser affects nerves in the cornea that play a role in tear production. LASIK can cause a temporary decrease in tear volume, and it may worsen a pre-existing dry eye condition.
Undercorrection or overcorrection. If your eyes don't respond to the laser treatment exactly as expected, you may have a small amount of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism after LASIK. In most cases, residual refractive errors can be treated successfully with a LASIK enhancement.
Night vision problems. Though you may see 20/20 after LASIK surgery, you might experience glare and halos around lights at night, or your night vision may seem noticeably less clear than your vision during the day. Often, these symptoms will disappear or diminish as your eyes continue to heal. If problems persist, a LASIK enhancement may be necessary for a better visual outcome.
Eye infections after LASIK surgery typically are temporary and can be treated with antibiotic eye drops or anti-inflammatory medication such as steroids.
Serious complications from LASIK surgery, such as permanent loss of visual acuity, are rare.
As part of your pre-operative exam and consultation, your eye doctor will review all potential risks, side effects and complications with you. These also will be described in the consent form you sign prior to surgery.