Mythbuster: Can I go blind after laser eye surgery?

Published by Auckland Eye on Monday, 07 May 2018

In the hands of highly skilled and trained surgeons using the best technology, major complications are extremely rare, and to date, there have been no cases of blindness, after millions of procedures being carried out worldwide. In short, it would be extremely rare for laser eye surgery to result in blindness— especially if you attend all follow-up appointments and follow your surgeon's post-op care instructions. If you are considering laser eye surgery, but are worried about the risk of blindness, this article is for you.




Laser eye surgery only affects the front surface of the eye. While realistically laser eye surgery is very safe and the odds of something going wrong are almost too small to measure, we still encounter of many people on a daily basis coming in who are afraid to get the treatment due to the risks; "My eyes work now, they just need contacts or glasses. I haven't got laser eye surgery yet because I worry that I could go blind and be in the dark."

It’s important to remember that with laser eye surgery, similar to any other surgical procedure, unexpected complications can arise. From around the world, there have been cases of people losing some vision after laser eye surgery.  However, these cases are extremely rare and with today’s knowledge and cutting-edge technology, ever more unlikely to occur.

So can I go blind from laser eye surgery? The short answer to this question is, in theory, yes but in reality no one ever has.

Putting things into perspective

Contact lenses and glasses are wonderful in many ways and still super safe when correctly cared for. However, to put things into perspective, contacts may be familiar to you and laser eye surgery is unfamiliar, so it can often be difficult to comprehend the comparative risk. This is similar to the idea that many people drive a car with no worry each day, but get very anxious about travelling on a plane once in a while (which statistically is much safer than driving a car). 

With regard to laser, the data is clear. There is more risk of having an infection and a visually impairing scar on the eye from a lifetime of contact lens wear than there is from laser eye surgery.

Although we see hundreds of thousands of satisfied patients leaving our clinic, we realise that for those who are afraid of the risks, this apprehension comes from unfamiliarity with the treatment and the fear of the unknown. While any surgery carries risks the chance of serious problems with laser eye surgery is extremely low and the benefits are evident in the millions of delighted laser patients over the last 30 years.

To find out if laser eye surgery is right for you, it's all about finding the facts and educating yourself about the treatment to make an informed decision. The first step to doing this is to book your initial free consultation. Our specialists will perform a thorough diagnostic eye exam to determine your suitability for laser eye surgery and will happily talk you through any of concerns and worries about the procedure.


Categories: Laser Mythbuster
Tags: laser

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