The often-overlooked risks of laser eye surgery

By Felicity Duncan

As someone who has worn glasses since age 18, I have not been immune to the lure of laser eye surgery. However, I have always hesitated to take the plunge because the procedure sounded fairly gruesome. It turns out that, if a recent article in the New York Times is to be believed, I may have dodged an ocular bullet by avoiding going under the laser.

According to the NYT, there may be significant risks to the procedure, often known by its commercial name Lasik. A growing number of studies have shown that people who have Lasik report dry eyes, vision abnormalities (including double vision and visual haloes), problems with their night vision, and in some cases significant pain. This is alarming because Lasik is an elective procedure – its only benefit is to reduce the need for glasses and the only negative side effects of wearing glasses are that they get lost all the time and covered in gross smudges.

 

This article highlights the importance of proper testing for medical procedures. It also highlights the value of doing your homework before you have any elective operations. Caveat emptor applies as much in the doctor’s office as it does elsewhere.

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