Given the buzz about LASIK eye surgery, it’s important to know what you can realistically expect—particularly the side effects—before you decide to go under the laser. Millions of Americans have had LASIK or other laser eye surgery to correct routine vision problems, most with good results. But some patients suffer side effects that impair the quality of their eyesight, even if visual acuity is improved. Consumer Reports Health surveyed 793 adult Americans who’ve had surgery such as LASIK, epi-LASIK, LASEK, or PRK to correct their vision since 2001. The vast majority, 80 percent, reported being "highly satisfied" with the results. But 53 percent of respondents experienced at least one side effect, such as halos, light sensitivity, or blurry vision. And 22 percent still had problems six months after the surgery.
Still, laser vision correction can be an effective measure for improving people’s vision. And it turns out the most common regret from those surveyed was not doing it sooner.
Are you or someone you know considering laser eye surgery? Check back next month for our essential guide to help you understand if you’re a good candidate or if you should steer clear, plus tips for choosing a surgeon and ways to get the best price.