Lasik’s Painful Side-Effects

Lasik is a popular laser surgery done on the eyes to correct vision. However, last week Lasik patients went to Washington D.C. to speak to the Food and Drug Administration on harmful side-effects that they experienced as a result of the surgery, including the following:

(1) Severe eye pain
(2) Dry eye
(3) Blurred vision

The effects of intense chronic pain can have a devastating effect on people’s lives. One case was particularly extreme. From the article:

Colin Dorrian was in law school when dry eye made his contact lenses so intolerable that he sought Lasik, even though a doctor noted his pupils were pretty large. Both the dry eye and pupil size should have disqualified Dorrian, but he received Lasik anyway — and his father described six years of eye pain and fuzzy vision before the suburban Philadelphia man killed himself last year.

“As soon as my eyes went bad, I fell into a deeper depression than I’d ever experienced, and I couldn’t get out,” Gerard Dorrian read from his son’s suicide note.

One quoted patient said he was considered a “success” by doctors despite experiencing terrible after-effects:

Matt Kotsovolos, who worked for the Duke Eye Center when he had a more sophisticated Lasik procedure in 2006, said doctors classify him as a success because he now has 20-20 vision. But he said, “For the last two years I have suffered debilitating and unremitting eye pain.”

These patients are demanding clearer standards for who can qualify for Lasik, as well as better information from the FDA on how many patients suffer these various side-effects.

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