Blurred Vision After Second Lasik?

My sister did lasik eye surgery second time after 10 years for her left eye as she was having blurred vision (distant no.) However, after the second time surgery, her vision has become more blurred compared to earlier and after two weeks also she has not got a sharp vision.

Her doctor says to wait for a month. We are really worried. Can you please guide us and tell what could be the reason and what can be done now for her blurred vision?

Doctor Answers 2

Late LASIK enhancements have increased risks

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This very question brings up an issue that is commonly encountered by LASIK surgeons, which is the late enhancement request. Sometimes, patients after doing well for a number of years develop residual refractive error and request retreatment. This theoretically can be done by repeat LASIK with the same flap, cutting a new flap, or by a surface PRK type of treatment. Each of these procedures can have additional risks not present at the time of theoriginal procedure. The repeat LASIK with the same flap may have technical difficulties lifting the flap, or an increased chance of epithelial ingrowth at the edges of the flap. Cutting a new flap can have its own issues, and a surface treatment can be unpredictable and has an increased risk of haze formation. There can also be microstraie created in the flap.

Before even considering the retreatment though, one must ascertain why the vision has changed in the particular case. Is there some cataract formation? Is there some instability of the cornea? Or is this simply a residual refractive error that now needs to be resolved.

I mention all of these things to point out that there is no simple answer that can be given in this type of a forum. Fortunately, it has only been two weeks, and the healing may not be complete so there is a good chance that the vision will improve. She should stay in close contact with the doctor, be sure that the vision is making progress, and ask for a specific reason if the vision does not improve within the next few weeks. If the vision is correctable with glasses that is a very good sign.

Greenwood Village Ophthalmologist

Blurred vision after LASIK

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Her blurring may go away if she is only two weeks postop. However, it may not. A common cause of post-LASIK blurring is residual refractive error (ie, astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness which still remains). Glasses would correct this--if the blur is severe, have her surgeon write her a prescription for a pair of glasses to get her by while she waits for visual stabilization.

If glasses don't help with the blur, it may be from dryness, in which case artificial tear lubricants will help. It may also be due to corneal swelling, which is relatively common two weeks postop. In this case, hypertonic saline drops (Muro 128) might be helpful to improve the vision. Occasionally, there can be inflammation in the cornea which would respond to anti-inflammatory drops.

At this relatively early stage of healing, be patient, and follow her surgeon's instructions. It can take up to three months for the vision to fully stabilize.

Gary Kawesch, MD (retired)
San Jose Ophthalmologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.