Can I go blind from LASIK?

2 Feb 2024LASIK Procedures and Options

Are you considering LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis)? If so, you probably have a lot of questions about it, which is perfectly normal.

We have written a number of articles addressing common questions about LASIK, including which LASIK procedure to choose and what some of its potential risks are. Today, we’ll answer yet another, specifically this: “Can I go blind from LASIK?” 

Understanding LASIK

Before we discuss the risk of blindness from LASIK, we should begin by understanding LASIK and what it entails. In brief, this procedure involves a reshaping of the cornea through the use of a laser.

The reshaping of the cornea allows the light rays to focus accurately onto the retina, much like how the lenses of your spectacles do to help you to see well.

In other words, LASIK changes the way your cornea refracts (or changes the direction of) light so that your unaided vision is improved, i.e. corrected.

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The Question: Can I go blind from LASIK?

Problems that occur after LASIK do not usually cause a bad reduction of vision. Dry eyes is the most common problem and this is easily addressed by using more lubricant eye drops. Mild dryness does not affect vision. Severe dryness can cause a slight drop in vision but this will recover once the eye becomes less dry with the appropriate amount of lubrication.

Problems that cause a bad reduction in vision after LASIK are very rare. One example is having a bad cornea infection. This can be prevented by following the instructions of your doctor: that is, do not rub your eyes and use the antibiotic eye drops as instructed. Eye rubbing in the first week after LASIK can introduce germs to the eye and can also cause changes to the cornea which can potentially lead to a reduction in vision.

Some people have wondered if the laser can laser through the entire eye and hurt the other tissues at the back of the eye or perhaps even cause problems deeper inside, such as the brain. This is not possible. The laser can only laser at the cornea and cannot go deeper than that.

In general, follow your eye surgeon’s post-operative care instructions. This will prevent problems from occurring. It is also important to go for the follow-up visits after your surgery. Your doctor will check your eye at each visit to make sure your eyes are healing well.

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Minimise risk by choosing experienced providers

Another thing you can do to further lower the risk of complications after LASIK is to have your procedure performed by a skilled eye surgeon.

A skilled surgeon can also help you identify the type of procedure that is best suited for your eyes. Whether it is SMILE, LASEK, or PRK, a good eye surgeon can help select the best method for a safe and accurate outcome.

Consult an eye surgeon about LASIK’s effects and risks

Like any surgery, LASIK is not without risks. Despite that, it is also considered one of the safest procedures with the highest success rates today. Approached with caution and expertise, it is largely considered a safe and effective vision correction treatment.

If you want to learn more about what LASIK may entail for you, it would be best to have your eyes checked and discuss with an eye doctor who can assess your specific case. You can reach out to us at Shinagawa Eye Centre and book an appointment with one of our eye doctors.

We can assess your suitability for LASIK and answer any questions you may have about it. Enquire now!