Friday, April 25, 2008

I See Not: A Lasik Eye Surgery Story

WASHINGTON - A decade after Lasik eye surgery hit the market, patients left with fuzzy instead of clear vision are airing their grievances before federal health officials.

Make no mistake: Most Lasik recipients do walk away with crisper vision, some better than 20/20.

But not everyone’s a good candidate, and an unlucky few do suffer life-changing side effects: poor vision, painful dry eyes, glare or problems seeing at night.

How big are the risks? The Food and Drug Administration thinks about 5 percent of patients are dissatisfied with Lasik. How many struggle daily with side effects? How many are just unhappy that they couldn’t completely ditch their glasses? The range of effects on patients’ quality of life is a big unknown.

I would never undergo such a surgery, but my dad did nine years ago and the only problem he experiences is a little glare at night.

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