a visual representation of the pros and cons of lasik eye surgery

The Pros and Cons of LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK is a newer surgical alternative to contacts or eyeglasses. It uses tiny cuts into the eye to fix blurred vision and other sight problems.

Many patients undergo LASIK each year hoping to reduce or eliminate their need for thick glasses or uncomfortable contact lenses. If you're considering this procedure, you should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks.


Most people will immediately notice an improvement in their vision right after surgery. As the corneas heal up over the next few weeks, vision continues to improve. In fact, the majority of patients will have improved vision without their contacts or eyeglasses 18 hours after surgery.

The freedom from glasses is considered to be one of the best things about LASIK. It is an instant self-esteem boost for most patients. Those who wear contact lenses will enjoy not having to fuss with them on a day to day basis. Over time, LASIK could save quite a bit of money and time. No more contact lenses can cut down on allergic reactions in the eye too. Lenses trap irritants that would otherwise be rinsed out by tears.


As with any other surgical procedure, there are risks and downsides to LASIK. One of the most common issues after LASIK is the loss of night vision. Many people will notice that they will see halos or glare around lights at night. Some may suffer from sensitivity to bright lights as well. For most people, the glaring and loss of night time vision will get better after three or four months. For a few patients, these issues will be more long lasting, up to a year in duration. Very few individuals have night vision or glare issues that last longer than one year.

Right after surgery there may be an alarming red glow or bright red spots on the eye. These are subconjunctival hemorrhages. They are bruises that form from the suction cup device that holds the eye still during surgery. These red spots will fade over the next few weeks like any other bruise. They will not affect vision in any way.

Another after surgery effect that can be alarming is dry eye. Most people will need to use dry eye products and eye drops for up to three months after surgery. A few will suffer from dry eye for up to a year. Many find that taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements speeds up the healing of dry eye syndrome.


When you are considering LASIK for yourself, you will need to carefully weigh all of the pros and cons. LASIK is considered by many doctors to be a fairly safe and well tolerated surgery for most patients. Speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have. He or she will be able to help you decide if this procedure is right for you.

Last Updated: November 21, 2016