Side Effects and Complications

Corneal healing has been studied for more than a century. Laser eye treatments such as LASIK, Femto-LASIK, PRK, SMILE are very safe methods. Complications are extremely rare, but when they occur, they can generally be resolved by further treatment.

Although extremely rare, as in any medical procedure, there are potential side effects associated with excimer laser treatment.


Temporary possible side effects during the healing process:


- Increased sensitivity to light and glare, possibly in the long term
- Temporary overcorrection
- Burning, itching, foreign body sensation due to dry eyes
- Disturbed cooperation of both eyes

LASIK does not correct presbyopia, which requires (reading) glasses for people over 40 years of age.

Risks of LASIK, Femto-LASIK

 

- Over-/ Undercorrection: Some patients experience minimal overcorrection during the healing process. Again, this is part of your eye's healing. Your vision will stabilize within one to four weeks, depending on your previous level of myopia. Very seldom, the overcorrection may persist. After a three to four month period, an enhancement procedure, called Re-LASIK can be performed to remedy this problem.

- Deviations in incision quality: Under certain anatomical conditions of the eye, the handling of the surgeon or technical problems may lead to difficulties in the preparation of the corneal lamella (flap), especially with the microkeratome LASIK used earlier. This may lead to an interruption or rescheduling of the procedure or make another method advisable. By using the femtosecond laser in Femto-LASIK, this complication can be almost completely ruled out!

- Loss of vision: Even if none of our patients suffer from vision loss, it cannot be ruled out with absolute certainty that a Lasik - e.g. due to an uncontrollable medical infection - will result in loss of vision.

- Increased sensitivity to light and glare - possibly permanently.

- Reduced night vision - possibly permanently.

- Late complications: In individual cases it cannot be ruled out with absolute certainty that complications may occur in later years, e.g. due to weakening of the cornea (keratectasia) with significant visual deterioration.

- Reduction of visual acuity: Even with a complication-free course and using the latest technologies, there are fundamental problems with the surgical correction of ametropia. For example, the flattening or splitting of the cornea necessary for the respective correction may lead to a deterioration of the optical imaging qualities of the cornea and thus to a reduction of the best corrected visual acuity compared to the condition before the operation. However, this is all the more true if there are delays in the healing process of the corneal flap or if wrinkles or scars form.


Why could you more sensitive to light and glare after LASIK?

 
The size of the pupil depends on age and illumination intensity. In bright light the pupil diameter is smaller than in darkness. In bright light the edge rays do not reach the retina. In the case of darkness - i.e. with a large pupil - the edge rays are also directed into the eye. The edge rays are refracted differently from the central light rays in the eye, so that you can observe increased glare and reduced night vision sharpness. The cornea has a flat round surface with the best possible optical imaging quality. Since this property is lost after LASIK, you will notice increased glare, halos around light sources and sensitivity to glare. These phenomena decrease during the healing process, but may still occur after the treatment. With age, the size of the pupils decreases, so that glare sensitivity normalizes.


Complications

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