Cincinnati product liability lawyer reviewing Blurred Vision and Chronic Dry Eyes & Serious Lasik Injuries
LASIK and other types of laser eye surgery (PRK and LASEK) may have high success rates, though the potential serious risks to vision may be understated by surgeons and the industry who stands to profit from the popularity of the procedure. Lasik—laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis—reshapes the cornea, the clear round dome that covers the front of the eye. Lasik surgeons use an ultraviolet laser to reduce the curvature of the cornea for people who are nearsighted, and to accent it for people who are farsighted.
The procedure, which costs about $4,100 on average, is not covered by most health insurance plans because it is considered a cosmetic procedure. Lasik operations are designed to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. Most patients seek the procedure in order to live without the nuisance of glasses or contacts.
But serious complications associated with Lasik surgery should make consumers question whether or not they should follow through with the procedure. As early as 2014, officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that safety studies were at best inconclusive, and stated that “disabling symptoms may occur in a significant number of patients.” The cited study reported that almost half of subjects who were symptom-free before LASIK reported visual symptoms like halos, starbursts, glare, and ghosting after LASIK surgery. Almost 30 percent of patients with no symptoms of dry eyes before LASIK developed dry eye symptoms after LASIK.
Ohio Lasik Injuries & Complications
Just because an improvement in vision is likely doesn’t mean that consumers should take unnecessary chances with their eye health. Although Lasik vision enhancement surgery may be marketed as safe and virtually risk-free, a number of side effects and complications and Lasik injuries have been reported, including:
- Chronic Dry Eyes—a decrease in tear production can cause eye discomfort and blurred vision. Many patients say the term “Dry Eyes” is a misnomer that does not properly describe the severe eye pain they experience years after surgery.
- Blurred vision
- Eye irritation
- Light sensitivity
- Halos, Glare and starbursts in low-light environments
- Reduced sharpness of vision
- Corneal flap complications—LASIK flap adhering improperly to the eye’s surface, causing optical aberrations and distorted vision. According to the American Journal of Ophthalmology, flap complications occur in up to 5 percent of LASIK procedures.
- Irregular astigmatism—can occur from laser correction surgery during irregular healing. Resulting symptoms may include double vision, and the eye may require revision surgery.
- Epithelial ingrowth—cells from the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) grow under the flap after LASIK surgery. Discomfort and blurred vision can occur.
- Diffuse lamellar keratitis (DLK)—Inflammation under the LASIK flap that may discourage healing and cause vision loss.
- Keratectasia—bulging of the eye’s surface when too much tissue is removed from the cornea during LASIK.
- Undercorrection & overcorrection—success depends on your eye’s healing response, and perhaps the visual outcome will be less than desired.
- Eye infection
- Neuropathic eye pain
Recent studies suggest Lasik patients may be at increased risk for long-term eye complications, including possibly requiring earlier cataract surgery and developing a serious vision-threatening conditions. Lasik can also interfere with the detection of glaucoma, which can lead to blindness if left untreated.
Ophthalmologists have admitted that Lasik surgery can sever tiny corneal nerves, thins the cornea and makes it weaker, and permanently alters the shape of the eye. Some people may lose contrast sensitivity.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Certain risk factors for Lasik injuries or an undesirable outcome include:
- Thin or irregular corneas
- Large pupils
- High refractive error
- Unstable vision
- Dry eyes
- Advanced age
- Active autoimmune disorders
Legal Action Following Ohio Lasik Injuries
Roughly 9.5 million Americans have had laser eye surgery, yet some patients are never consulted or warned that they could sustain permanent damage following Lasik surgery. Complications are not uncommon, however, and many questions remain about the long-term risks, Lasik injuries and complications.
A lack of information about complications and injury is a problem with many medical devices and procedures. Attorneys have argued that patients undergoing Lasik surgery should be adequately warned about the possibility of developing new visual symptoms after surgery before undergoing the procedure. Every time you operate and cut into tissue, you damage nerves. That in itself is a serious risk, as the cornea is sensitive to nerve damage. Studies have found that between 20 and 55 percent of Lasik patients have persistent dry eyes.
Experts and product liability attorneys contend that Lasik should be held to a higher safety standard. Even if a small percentage of consumers are at risk for Lasik injuries in Ohio, that still represents thousands of injured patients.
If you have suffered an injury or complication after a Lasik operation, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding Lasik injuries.