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LASIK Complications

Eyes Wide Open: A Comprehensive Guide to LASIK Complications

LASIK, or laser in-situ keratomileusis, is a popular and highly effective procedure for correcting vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The procedure involves using a laser to reshape the cornea, the clear outer covering of the eye, to improve the way the eye focuses light. LASIK is a relatively quick and painless procedure that can provide patients with improved vision and a greater sense of independence. For the last 20 years, Dr. Cohen has helped tens of thousands of patients achieve their best vision In the safest possible manner. View some patient testimonials here. (anchor down)

As with any medical procedure, LASIK is not without its risks and complications. While the vast majority of LASIK patients experience no complications and are satisfied with the results, it is important to understand the potential risks before undergoing the procedure. This guide will provide a comprehensive look at the most common LASIK complications, how to manage them, and how to prevent them.

Common LASIK Complications

Dry Eyes:

One of the most common complications of LASIK is dry eye. The procedure can cause temporary inflammation in the cornea, which can lead to dryness and discomfort. Symptoms of dry eye include redness, itching, burning, and a feeling of grittiness or foreign body sensation in the eye. These symptoms usually resolve within a few weeks to a few months after the procedure. At Cohen Eye institute our doctors will carefully examine your eyes to create a treatment plan to tackle pre and post-op dryness should it be needed. Our doctors may use a variety of techniques from eye drops to temporary punctal plugs to give your eyes relief. Also, our screening exam will uncover patients with severely dry eyes that may not be good LASIK candidates. If that is the case, we will recommend you a different procedure (link to LASIK alternatives)  or no procedure at all.

Halos and Glare: 

Another complication of LASIK is halos and glare. These symptoms occur when the patient sees halos or starbursts around lights, especially at night. This is caused by the reshaping of the cornea which can cause light to scatter in the eye, leading to visual distortions. Halos and glare can be particularly bothersome for people who drive at night. These complications were more common with the older lasers but in our offices in New York and New Jersey, Dr. Cohen uses the latest LASIK technology that minimizes these problems.

Under or Over Correction:

LASIK is a precise procedure, but sometimes the laser may not remove or add enough tissue from the cornea, resulting in under- or over-correction. This can cause the patient to need glasses or contacts after the procedure. In some cases, an adjustment  called a “touch-up” or “enhancement” may be needed to correct the under or over-correction.

After more than 20 years of experience with LASIK and by using very strict measurements and rigorous testing before the procedure Dr. Cohen will minimize the chance for you needing a touch-up or enhancement. Our touch up rate is currently 0.5% over the last 5 years.


Although rare, an infection can occur after LASIK. The risk of infection can be minimized by following the surgeon’s post-operative instructions and maintaining good hygiene around the eye. At the Cohen Eye Institute, we provide patients with extensive guides and careful follow up to minimize the infection rate. Dr. Cohen is very capable of handling an infection should one arise.

Flap Wrinkles or Striae:

Sometimes wrinkles can develop in the LASIK after the surgery. These wrinkles are usually the result of excessive rubbing of the eyes in the immediate post-op period by the patient. We provide extensive instruction for our patients on how to avoid that. In the rare event that such complications may arise, Dr. Cohen is a cornea specialist and is well qualified to take care of it by repositioning the flap.

Preventing LASIK Complications

A review of Dr. Cohen’s surgical results with LASIK shows that his complication rates are 5 times lower than the national average. In other words, you are 5 times safer under his hands.  One of the most effective ways to prevent complications is to choose an experienced and qualified surgeon who uses the most advanced technology. Your surgeon should be able to explain the procedure and the risks involved and provide detailed post-operative instructions.

Dr. Cohen adheres to one of the most strict criteria for LASIK patient selection. These criteria were formed and refined during his over 20 years of surgical experience. Since he performs a wide variety of Vision Correction Procedures he can tailor for you the procedure that will get the job done in the safest fashion.

It’s also important to follow the post-operative instructions carefully and to maintain good hygiene around the eye. And, as always, it’s important to have realistic expectations and to understand that LASIK is not always perfect.  Our team of doctors and Dr. Cohen will work enthusiastically to try and achieve for you the best possible vision with the highest safety record. Your vision is our priority and as such our team of doctors is well-equipped to handle any complication should it arise.

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