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Many LASIK Patients Experience New Eye Problems After Surgery

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Many of those who undergo LASIK surgery to correct their vision face new eye problems months following the procedure, findings of a new study have revealed.

Laser Surgery For Vision Problems

LASIK, or laser in situ keratomileusis, is a surgery that flattens the cornea and is the most common laser surgery to address problems with nearsightedness and astigmatism. The procedure allows light to enter the eye properly to correct vision problems. Millions of Americans undergo LASIK surgery each year.

A 2014 study on the procedure has shown that some patients developed problems that adversely impacted their day to day lives such as their ability to drive at night or in sunshine.

Now, findings of a new study suggest that a significant number of LASIK patients may indeed face possibilities of having eye problems after going through the procedure.

For the new research published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology on Nov. 23, researchers have found that three months after LASIK surgery, more than 40 percent of the study participants reported experiencing new visual symptoms that they did not experience prior to the surgery.

The study involved two groups of people, which included 262 active-duty Navy personnel and 312 civilians, who were asked to complete a web-based survey before and after their surgery.

New Visual Symptoms After LASIK Surgery

The participants had vision problems and were not happy with their eyesight prior to the surgery; however, these decreased after the procedure. More than 40 percent of the participants without prior symptoms such as halos, double images, glares and starbursts reported having experienced at least one of these problems three months after the surgery.

The new problems, though, tend to be minor and did not affect the ability to function normally. In most cases, the initial vision problems of the patients had also been addressed by the surgery.

"To our knowledge, our study is one of the few that have reported the development of new visual symptoms. While the overall prevalence of visual symptoms decreased, a large percentage of participants with no symptoms preoperatively reported new visual symptoms postoperatively," study researcher Malvina Eydelman of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and colleagues wrote.

Patients Need To Know Possibilities For New Visual Symptoms After Surgery

The researchers said that patients who consider undergoing LASIK surgery should be informed about the risks of developing new visual symptoms after the procedure.

"More research is needed to understand which patients are likely to experience difficulty performing their usual activities following LASIK surgery," the FDA said.

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