What is Laser Eye Surgery?

Laser eye surgery is a type of refractive surgery that corrects vision problems by reshaping the cornea, the clear, round dome at the front of your eye. Laser eye surgery can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Find More.

During laser eye surgery, your surgeon will use a laser to make small changes in the shape of your cornea. These changes will allow light to enter your eye in the right way so that you can see clearly.

There are two types of laser eye surgery: photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and LASIK. PRK is the older of the two procedures and was once the most common type of laser eye surgery. LASIK is now the most common type of laser eye surgery. 

PRK and LASIK are both outpatient procedures, which means you will not have to stay in the hospital overnight. The surgery itself takes only a few minutes. However, you may be at the surgery center for two to three hours, because you will need time before the surgery to have your eyes dilated and numbed with drops, and time after the surgery to recover.

Who Can Have Laser Eye Surgery?

Most people who have vision problems can benefit from laser eye surgery. However, some people are not good candidates for this type of surgery. You may not be a good candidate for laser eye surgery if you:

-Are pregnant or nursing

-Have diabetes

-Have autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus

-Have a history of keloids (scarring that results in raised, bumpy scars)

-Are taking certain medications such as steroids

-Are under 18 years of age or over 60 years of age

Your doctor will be able to tell you if you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery.

What Are the Risks of Laser Eye Surgery?

Laser eye surgery is generally safe and effective. However, like any surgery, there are some risks associated with the procedure. These risks include:

Dry eyes: After laser eye surgery, your eyes may be dry for a few months. This is because the surgery can cause your tear ducts to produce fewer tears. Your doctor may prescribe artificial tears or other treatments to help relieve this problem.

Infection: There is a small risk of infection after laser eye surgery. This risk can be reduced by using antibiotics before and after the surgery.

Glare, halos, and double vision: You may experience these symptoms temporarily after laser eye surgery. These problems usually go away within a few weeks.

Under-correction or over-correction: In some cases, laser eye surgery does not correct the vision problem completely, or it may correct the problem too much. This can usually be corrected with a second surgery.

Swelling and redness: You may experience some swelling and redness after laser eye surgery. This is normal and should go away within a few days.

Eye injury: There is a small risk of injury to the eye during laser eye surgery. This risk can be reduced by working with an experienced surgeon.

Laser eye surgery is a safe and effective way to improve your vision, but it’s important to understand the risks before you decide if it’s right for you. Talk to an ophthalmologist about your options and whether laser eye surgery is right for you. More Hints