Can LASIK Make You Go Blind?
Millions of LASIK procedures have been performed worldwide with very high levels of safety and effectiveness. It would be extremely unusual for anyone to go blind from LASIK — especially if you follow your surgeon's instructions and attend all follow-up visits as directed.
That said, it's important to remember that LASIK is surgery; and like with any surgical procedure, unexpected complications can occur.
Most LASIK risks and complications are mild and can be managed successfully. The most frequently reported complications from LASIK surgery are dry eyes, halos, glare and other visual disturbances. These problems typically are temporary but rarely can be permanent. More severe complications, including significant vision loss, are possible but very uncommon.
When choosing a LASIK surgeon, it's important to ask plenty of questions during your eye exam and preoperative consultation and feel comfortable that the doctor you choose will do everything possible to decrease your risk of LASIK complications and manage any post-operative symptoms you have.
Also, it's important to understand the level of experience your doctor has in performing LASIK and other vision correction procedures — including PRK, phakic IOLs and refractive lens exchange — and the type of the technology offered for each procedure.
During your pre-op consultation, your surgeon will discuss your suitability for LASIK and your specific risks, based on your refractive error, measurements of your cornea, your health and age, and other factors.
Also, ask your surgeon about his or her policies in case you have an unacceptable outcome and need a LASIK enhancement to attain better visual acuity.
About the Author: Vance Thompson, MD, FACS, is the director of refractive surgery at Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls, S.D. He also is professor of ophthalmology at the Sanford USD School of Medicine, a leading researcher in technologies for laser and implant vision correction and a member of All About Vision's editorial advisory board.
Page updated March 2018