Risks of refractive surgery
While refractive surgery is becoming more affordable and safe, it may not be recommended for everybody. Patients that have medical conditions such as glaucoma or diabetes, uncontrolled vascular disease, autoimmune disease, pregnant women or people with certain eye diseases involving the cornea or retina, are not good candidates for refractive surgery. Keratoconus, a progressive thinning of the cornea, is a common corneal disorder..
It is believed that additional thinning of the cornea via refractive surgery may contribute to advancement of the
disease , that may lead to the need for a corneal transplant. Therefore, keratoconus is a contraindication to refractive surgery. Corneal topography, paquimetry and, more recently, Pentacam exams are used to screen for abnormal corneas. Furthermore, some people’s eye shape may not permit effective refractive surgery without removing excessive amounts of corneal tissue. Those considering laser eye surgery should have a full eye examination.
Although the risk of complications is decreasing compared to the early days of Refractive surgery, there is still a small chance for problems sometimes serious. These include vision problems such as ghosting, halos, starbursts, double-vision, and dry-eye syndrome. With procedures that create a permanent flap in the cornea (such as LASIK), there is also the possibility of accidental traumatic flap displacement years after the surgery, with potentially disastrous results if not given prompt medical attention.
Many people with myopia are able to read comfortably without eyeglasses. Myopes considering refractive surgery are advised that this may be an advantage after the age of 40 when the eyes become presbyopic and lose their ability to accommodate or change focus.