Lasik surgery to correct poor eyesight is incredibly popular. More than 700,000 Americans had it last year.1
But chances are, most of them don’t know that it has never been rigorously tested. That’s because, unlike new drugs, medical procedures don’t require large-scale clinical studies before they can be used.
And of the few studies that tested Lasik, many were authored by doctors or laser manufacturers with a financial interest in the outcome.2
But now, more than 20 years after Lasik was first used in the U.S., it’s becoming clear that serious side effects are common.
In Lasik surgery, doctors make a small cut in the eye’s cornea, or outermost layer. Then they use a laser to remove some of the cornea tissue and reshape it to improve the person’s vision.
Patients can undergo the procedure for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It costs anywhere from $300 to $4,000 per eye. Insurance usually does not cover it because it is considered elective surgery.
Even though millions of Americans have already undergone Lasik, the FDA only recently finished the first thorough and independent study of the procedure.
Researchers followed 574 patients for up to six months after they underwent the eye surgery. They discovered that nearly half (45%) of patients suffered side effects. They included:
- Increased glare
- Halos around objects
- Double or even triple vision
One side effect was particularly common and troubling. One third of patients suffered dry eye. In some cases, it was merely annoying. But in others it caused intense pain.
In some patients, the surgery didn’t even work. They had to return to wearing glasses.
In the wake of the study, the FDA issued a warning. It said, “Patients undergoing Lasik surgery should be adequately counseled about the possibility of developing new visual symptoms after surgery.”
The warning comes too late for Max Cronin.
Lasik Blamed for Suicide
The 27-year-old Army veteran had Lasik in 2015. Afterward, he began experiencing dry eyes, pain, declining vision, and night driving problems.
Max became so depressed that he killed himself. His suicide note said laser surgery had ruined his eyes and his life.
His mother Nancy is a doctor who now warns others about Lasik complications. “As a medical physician, I can definitely state that Lasik complications can lead to suicide,” she said. “For an elective procedure, the risks and long-term complications are understated.”
Don’t get Lasik surgery merely for convenience or vanity. It’s too risky. Stick with glasses or contact lenses.
You can help keep your eyes healthy by taking certain supplements.
3 Supplements for Better Vision
Astaxanthin: This sight-saving antioxidant is 65 times more powerful than vitamin C. It improves blood circulation to the eyes. This is critical to keeping your eyesight crystal clear.
Lutein: This compound promotes eye health by preventing light-induced oxidative damage to the retina. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards, and turnip greens are good sources. Or take a supplement.
Folate (B9): It prevents glaucoma and macular degeneration. It is hard to get adequate folate from food. Your best bet is a daily multivitamin that contains at least 400 mcg.
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