Experts study risks of Lasik eye surgery

Health

Geovanni Ramirez says his dream of perfect 20/20 vision quickly became a nightmare.

“My vision is worse than before Lasik surgery,” he said.

Two years ago, he decided to get Lasik eye surgery to correct his vision. But, he says instead, his eyesight only got worse, with severe dry eyes, sensitivity to light, and even seeing everything in threes.

“Your vision is how you experience the world. And so, when something happens to you that takes your vision even partly away, it definitely has an impact on your quality of life,” he explained.

But most ophthalmologists say Ramirez’s experience is the exception, not the rule.

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“There are rare complications associated with any surgery, but Lasik is the safest, most effective procedure we have ever seen in ophthalmology,” stated ophthalmologist Dr. Eric Donnenfeld.

More than 190 million Americans wear corrective lenses across the United States with more than 9 million undergoing Lasik eye surgery since the FDA approved it in the 1990’s.

More than 95% of satisfied patients experience 20/20 vision after surgery, according to the FDA. However, post-surgical risks like soreness, dry eyes, even chronic pain plus blurred and double vision are still risks.

The FDA told ABC News they now plan to issue new Lasik patient labeling guidance to the industry to clearly communicate risks of Lasik to patients. The FDA also noted that their recent study on Lasik safety found up to 2% of patients reported difficulty performing daily activities without corrective lenses.

However, experts on both sides agree there are some people who may have worse outcomes.

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