Millions of patients worldwide have been successfully treated with LASIK. As with any surgery, LASIK has potential risks, complications and side effects, which are clearly outlined in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s LASIK patient guide and sample informed consent form. While the risk for major complications – such as over-or under-correction of the patient’s refractive error, or a reduction in the refractive correction over time which could require corrective lenses or retreatment – is low, there are common side effects associated with the surgery, including dry eye pain, poor night vision and glare, halos or starbursts.
In addition, there are a number of risk factors that would make a patient an inappropriate candidate for surgery. The Academy urges patients to discuss these factors with their doctor and carefully weigh the benefits and risks before deciding to undergo this and any surgery.
Ophthalmologists are also advised to follow the Academy’s Guidelines for Refractive Surgery Advertising, which stresses the importance of using only true and substantiated health claims about LASIK to protect the safety of consumers. For more information, visit the Academy’s public education website GetEyeSmart.org, keyword: LASIK.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons – Eye M.D.s – with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "Os" – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org.
The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit GetEyeSmart.org or OjosSanos.org to learn more.