Can you go blind after laser eye surgery?

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Laser eye surgery has been available for over twenty five years now. It was first created in the 1970’s but was not approved for eye surgery until 1995. It has been refined by doctors and scientists over the years, making it safer and more effective. The end result being that it is now considered the most common and safest form of eye surgery. 

There are many benefits to Laser eye surgery, the results can last a lifetime and for a patient who has been wearing glasses or contact lenses for years the end result can literally be life changing.

Despite its excellent track record, most people do have one burning question before they move forward with the surgery. 

Although with every surgery, there are always risks involved, by choosing a surgeon that you trust, ensuring that you keep to all of your appointments and by following all of your post op advice, the risk is negligible at best.

Is there a chance they could go blind from the surgery?

This is a good question and is one that is worth asking. Our eyesight is one of the most important things to us. 

Technically the answer is yes.

There is actually a 34 times higher risk of going blind from wearing contact lenses. 

However the risk of losing sight in one eye is stated as being a one in 5 million chance. To put that in perspective your chances of being hit by lightning is one in 6 million.

For blindness in both eyes to occur from laser surgery a series of very unfortunate events would have to occur in succession and they would have to be ignored over a period of time. This is very unlikely to happen especially with today’s medical technology.  

Before surgery can take place

Before you are accepted for surgery there are many steps that need to be carried out. It isn’t a procedure that you are just automatically accepted for on a whim.

You have to undertake at least two eye exams and consultations with an Optometrist, Surgeon, and a patient adviser. 

After surgery check ups

Complications post surgery are typically very low. It is widely believed that it’s these complications that could lead to blindness rather than the actual surgery itself.

Following on from the surgery you will be given eye drops. These must be taken to reduce the risk from developing a sight threatening infection.

You must also ensure you attend your post-op appointments and follow your surgeons after care advice such as when you can safely return to swimming and playing sports.

Infections post surgery are rare though, affecting just 0.02% of patients. 

Although with every surgery, there are always risks involved, by choosing a surgeon that you trust, ensuring that you keep to all of your appointments and by following all of your post op advice, the risk is negligible at best.

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