Since the FDA approved LASIK in 1999, approximately 10 million people in the United States have undergone this eye surgery. Currently, approximately 700,000 Americans have LASIK eye surgery every year. When we look at a global perspective, over 30 million people have had LASIK eye surgery. That’s a lot of LASIK! But is LASIK safe? What, if any, are the risks of this common eye procedure? If you have questions about the risks of LASIK or wonder if it could be right for you, keep reading.
What is LASIK Eye Surgery?
In case you are not familiar with LASIK eye surgery, here is a quick overview. LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, and it is a laser eye surgery that restores vision by reshaping the cornea to refract light more precisely. The convenient procedure only takes fifteen minutes, and most individuals return to their normal routines within a few days. For people who have experienced vision problems for years, LASIK is truly life changing. Patients no longer have to wear contacts or eyeglasses in order to see clearly, a phenomenon that many people have never experienced before LASIK. Read more about the procedure and recovery for LASIK.
Is LASIK safe?
One of the most commonly asked questions about LASIK is if it is safe. While any medical procedure has some risks, and LASIK is no different, LASIK is considered a safe and effective procedure. We will talk about some risks of LASIK in the next section, but let’s first take a look at some LASIK statistics.
Approximately 700,000 people have LASIK every year in the United States.
LASIK has a 96% success rate.
Only .3% of patients have serious problems after LASIK, such as dry eyes or infection.
90% of LASIK patients experience 20/20 vision after surgery. Furthermore, 99% of patients achieve 20/40 vision.
Only 3% of patients regret getting LASIK.
45% patients did not experience any symptoms after surgery, meaning they resumed normal activities as soon as the procedure was over.
Dry eyes is the most common complication after LASIK. There are several treatment options for dry eyes. This is typically not a long-term side effect.
As you can see, LASIK has a proven track record of improved vision for most candidates. One of the reasons that eye doctors evaluate the candidacy of every patient is to ensure that LASIK is the appropriate procedure for them. Certain eye conditions may prevent you from undergoing LASIK, including cataracts, severe dry eye, glaucoma, eye herpes, and other infections.
At Broberg Eye Care, we will never move forward with LASIK if you are not a good candidate for it. And if you’re not a candidate for LASIK, we will look at other vision correction options, such as PRK, iLASIK, and Custom Wavefront LASIK.
Can LASIK make you go blind?
Despite so many positive statistics and testimonies about amazing results, if you have ever mentioned LASIK to someone, there’s a good chance they made a comment about the possibility of losing your vision or even going blind. It is understandable that people would associate an eye surgery with the risk of going blind, but the good news is that there is no evidence to support this claim (or fear).
Since LASIK surgery first started in 1999, there have been absolutely zero reports of LASIK eye surgery resulting in blindness. So while there are potential risks and side effects of LASIK, blindness is not one of them.
Risks of LASIK
If going blind isn’t a risk of LASIK, what is? According to the FDA, possible side effects include dry eye, sensitivity to light, halos, or difficulty driving at night. Most side effects subside with time and can be treated with medicated eye drops. In less than 1% of cases, patients have lost lines of vision on the vision chart, meaning they were not able to read all the lines that they were able to before surgery. Even when considering side effects like dry eyes, it is important to realize that these are not necessarily complications. Complications are long-term problems, while side effects are short-term symptoms.
LASIK in Austin, Texas
Perfect vision could be right around the corner! If you live in Austin, Texas or the surrounding area, contact Broberg Eye Care to learn more about LASIK or see if you are a candidate for it. Our doctors have performed thousands of successful LASIK surgeries and are more than willing to address any questions or concerns you may have about it. Schedule a consultation today.