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Lasik Surgery Leaving People With ‘Debilitating Eye Pain, Suicidal, Dry Eyes’


Lasik Surgery Leaving People With ‘Debilitating Eye Pain, Suicidal, Dry Eyes’

Lasik eye surgery is one of the most popular procedures in America. Since its FDA approval in the 1990s, almost 10 million people have had the surgery hoping to never again be bothered by cumbersome eyewear. For the most part, Lasik is pitched as a relatively simple surgery that only results in benefit to the patient on the receiving end.

But Lasik has a dark side to it that is often buried by those looking to promote it. In 2008, former Lasik patients and some of their family members gave testimony to that dark side at an FDA meeting. Many claim that Lasik surgery was wholly responsible for their loss of employment. They claim they suffered blurred vision, were disabled, and many claimed suicidal thoughts were pervasive. All part of what is now being called intense Lasik side effects.

“Too many Americans have been harmed by this procedure and it’s about time this message was heard,” said David Shell of Washington, who had Lasik in 1998 and says he has “not experienced a moment of crisp, good quality vision since.”

“For the last two years I have suffered debilitating and unremitting eye pain,” Matt Kotsovolos said. “Patients do not want to continue to exist as helpless victims with no voice.”

Now, the New York Times has published another long piece regarding the failure of Lasik. This time, the article centers around graphic artist Geobanni Ramirez, who had Lasik a couple of years prior to the article’s publication. Ramirez now claims he has “visual distortions” and “double vision” and that he has been rendered useless at night due to extremely poor night vision.

“My vision is considered 20/20, because I see the A’s, B’s and C’s all the way down the chart,” said Mr. Ramirez. “But I see three A’s, three B’s, three C’s.”

The concept that Lasik procedure is safe is now falling apart as more and more negative reports hit the press. A clinical trial by the FDA confirmed that Lasik surgery has a high failure rate, something which runs contrary to widely held beliefs that the procedure is safe and effective. In fact, when you go inside the data from the clinical trial, things get rather scary. Almost half of the study’s participants had healthy and normal eyes prior to Lasik surgery. Following the procedure, they developed side-effects such as visual aberrations. A third of the participants were left with discomforting dry eyes.

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From the trial:

“patients undergoing Lasik surgery should be adequately counseled about the possibility of developing new visual symptoms after surgery before undergoing this elective procedure.”

Ophthalmologists mostly believe that Lasik is safe, effective, and the best possible option for those with vision issues. But the numbers simply don’t lie. Ophthalmologists have too much to gain from pricey surgical procedures to be trusted with honest disclosure which has likely been the root cause of the growing trend of Lasik procedures causing side effects. How many people would have undergone Lasik surgery had they known and understood the real risks? Probably not too many at all.

The Mayo Clinic list Lasik side effects as potentially leaving the patient with dry eyes, halos, glare, double-vision, undercorrections, overcorrections, astigmatism, flap problems and vision loss.

Lasik surgery is a procedure widely touted for its ability to correct far and nearsightedness, as well as people who suffer from astigmatism. Most people don’t expect to suffer any negative consequences after the procedure, which seems to be due to eye doctor’s non-disclosure of potential risks. Many eye surgeons claim that any side effects experienced by patients following Lasik procedures will subside given a few months time.

Last year, over 700,000 people had Lasik performed on them, a number eye surgeons are now citing as evidence that new criticism over the procedure may be exaggerated.

Photo by Oswaldo Rubio

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.