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Nearly Half of LASIK Surgery Patients Report Complications

October 21, 2014 — Nearly half of people who undergo LASIK laser eye surgery develop side effects three months later, according to a new report from the FDA.

The most serious reported problems included difficulty driving at night or during bright sunshine, severe dry eyes, starbursts, glare, ghosting, or halos. The most commonly-reported side effect was halos.

The FDA completed the “LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project” in collaboration with the National Eye Institute and the U.S. Defense Department. Researchers used a questionnaire to study before-and-after complications of LASIK surgery.

The study found the following rate of complications:

  • 45% of patients who did not have visual symptoms before LASIK reported at least one symptom at three months after surgery.
  • The most common complication was halos
  • Up to 35% of patients who had no halos before LASIK reported halos three months after surgery.
  • Up to 30% of patients who did not have dry eye symptoms before LASIK reported symptoms three months after surgery.
  • Less than 1% of study participants had side effects that interfered with usual activities (halos, glare, etc.) after LASIK surgery.

This is not the first time the FDA has been concerned about LASIK surgery. In 2009 and 2012, the agency warned that some surgeons were misleading patients about the risks and limitations of LASIK eye surgery with improper promotion and advertising practices. Click here to read more.

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