Vision correction procedures improve vision and reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses for issues like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia. However, they carry risks such as side effects, infections, and complications that can have long-lasting effects on eye health and vision quality.
Understanding these factors becomes even more important, considering the significant unmet needs for vision correction, estimated at 720 Million people in China. Therefore, it is essential to know the potential risks and complications of vision correction before you decide to have it done.
What Are the Side Effects of Vision Correction?
Side effects are temporary or minor problems that happen after vision correction. They usually go away within a few days or weeks. Some of the common side effects are:
- Dry eyes -Your eyes may feel dry, itchy, or irritated after vision correction. You may need eye drops or artificial tears to keep them moist.
- Glare – You may see bright halos or starbursts around lights at night after vision correction. This can make driving or reading difficult.
- Fluctuating vision – Your vision may change daily after vision correction. It may take some time for your eyes to adjust and stabilize.
- Sensitivity – After vision correction, your eyes may be more sensitive to light or wind. You may need to wear sunglasses or protective eyewear to shield them.
How to Prevent Complications From Vision Correction?
Complications from vision correction, though rare, can profoundly affect eye health and vision. Here are some common complications to be aware of:
- Infection – Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections can occur post-vision correction, leading to pain, redness, swelling, or eye discharge.
- Overcorrection – Excessive clarity of vision can make it challenging to focus on nearby objects and may cause headaches.
- Undercorrection – Insufficient improvement in vision after the procedure may necessitate continued use of glasses or contact lenses for clear vision.
- Regression – Vision may deteriorate over time following vision correction, requiring additional procedures for correction.
To prevent complications, consider the following measures:
- Choose a qualified and experienced surgeon with a strong reputation and success rate.
- Adhere to pre-operative instructions, including comprehensive eye exams, discontinuation of contact lens wear, and abstaining from alcohol or tobacco.
- Follow post-operative instructions diligently, such as using prescribed eye drops, refraining from rubbing or touching the eyes, and attending scheduled follow-up visits.
- Promptly report any signs of infection or abnormalities to your surgeon for immediate attention.
How to Cope With Complications From Vision Correction?
If you experience any complications from vision correction, you should:
1. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your surgeon may prescribe medication, perform additional surgery, or refer you to a specialist.
2. Follow the treatment plan diligently. You may need antibiotics, steroids, or other drugs to treat the infection or inflammation.
3. Manage your expectations realistically. You may not achieve perfect vision after vision correction. You may still need glasses or contact lenses for some activities.
4. Seek emotional support if needed. You may feel frustrated, depressed, or anxious about your complications. You can talk to your family, friends, counselor, or support group.
Vision correction can improve your eyesight and quality of life, but also comes with risks and complications. You should be aware of the potential side effects, infections, overcorrection, undercorrection, and regression that can occur after vision correction.
You should also know how to prevent them and how to cope with them if they happen. By doing so, you can make an informed decision about whether vision correction suits you and enjoy the benefits of having clearer vision.