After the Food and Drug Administration approved laser eye surgery as an acceptable method of treating eye problems in the 1990s, the procedure has treated millions of individuals with visual concerns. However, a former member of FDA openly commented that the risk and complications associated with the eye surgical procedure have not been given proper attention.
Morris Waxler, one of the team who approved and certified LASIK procedure said that during the deliberation, the side effects were already laid out yet no one in the team paid much attention on the data given to them. According to him, it was his conscience talking when he aired his controversial statements during a public interview. He also said that the reported side effects of people who went through LASIK surgery inspired him to come out and share his comments after he retired from office.
LASIK is conducted by making a small incision on the cornea. A laser would be inserted onto the cornea to have its tissues reshaped. Some of the reported side effects include starbursts, halo and double vision, to name a few. There are also those who complain about night blindness or experiencing dryness of the eyes. These side effects lead to visual impairment and incapacity of the patients to do their daily routines such as driving. According to Waxler, laser eye surgery takes away the freedom of the individual to do the tasks he usually do to live a normal life.
Although the controversial statements of Morris Waxler caused anxiety to those who are considering LASIK for eye treatment, it cannot be discounted that the benefits of the procedure outweighs the benefits one can get out of the medical procedure.
FDA dismissed the comments including the possible side effects of laser eye surgery. Because of FDAs nonchalance on the matter, Waxler said that the agency is lenient to the manufacturers because they have their interest which is to keep their products in the market. Waxler said that he is not pushing for the abolition of laser eye surgery; he just wants FDA to impose more stringent guidelines to ensure safer surgical procedures to the public.
Laser Eye Surgery: The Risks Associated With the Procedure
Based on clinical studies, 85% of those who went through laser eye surgery were able to regain their normal eyesight thereby eliminating the need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses again. Those who have low grade myopia have high success rates while those with hyperopia or far sightedness together with astigmatism, yield unpredictable results. The success or failure of the operation depends on several factors such as the severity of the eye problem and on the expertise of the surgeon.
The Downside of Laser Eye Surgery
Although the success rate of laser eye surgery is quite high making it one of the latest and safest eye corrective procedures in the medical world today, the risks associated with it cannot be discounted. Like any other surgical procedures that come with potential risks and complications, laser eye surgery is not an exception.
Here are some complications and risks associated with the procedure:
• Drying of the eyes. Most patients complain about having dry eyes immediately after the procedure. Although this can be easily remedied by eye drops and ample amount of time for healing, there are cases wherein plugs need to be attached to the eyes in order to stop the tears from flowing.
• Worsening of visual problems. In some cases, people who went through laser eye surgery lose their eyesight or experiences even worse eye conditions than what they experienced before the corrective procedure.
• Development of new eye problems. There are patients who complain about having additional eye problems after they went through the procedure. Most of the complaints include seeing halo, glare and starbursts. There are also those who get double vision after the eye treatment.
• Infection as a result of flapping. LASIK is conducted by flapping the surface of the cornea. And just like cutting any part of the body, it comes with potential risk of infection especially when not given proper attention after surgery.
These are only some of the noted risks and complications brought about by laser eye surgery. This can be prevented with proper handling of the surgical procedure and also by getting enough information on how to avoid these complications. Discuss the matter with your ophthalmologist for more information.