Laser Eye Surgery: The Basics

Seen as a fast, painless, low-maintenance answer to glasses or contact lenses, laser eye surgery is an increasingly popular method of vision correction.

Vision problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness are caused by an abnormally shaped eyeball or cornea. Laser eye surgery actually removes tissue from the eye and reshapes the cornea to improve the eye’s ability to focus.


Laser eye surgery is permanent. Unlike glasses or contact lenses, which need to be regularly purchased or renewed, laser eye surgery is a one-time procedure which usually does not need to be repeated.

The procedure is painless and recovery times are very short. Vision will be distinctly improved just one or two days after surgery, and no post-surgery bandages or stitches are required.

Around 80% of patients experience fully improved vision after laser eye surgery with no complications need for repeat procedures.

Before signing up for laser eye surgery, however, one must be aware of the possible risks.


Undercorrection or overcorrection – Undercorrection occurs when insufficient tissue is removed from the eye, and can be fixed with further surgery. Overcorrection occurs when too much tissue is removed from the eye, and is much more difficult to remedy.

Night vision problems – After laser eye surgery, some patients have trouble seeing at night, and experience a glare effect, see a “halo” around bright lights, or see double images. This can be corrected with medical eyedrops or further surgery.

Hazy vision – Corneal haze can occur during the post-surgery healing process before clearing up entirely. In some cases, however, this haze does not clear up and interferes with vision, and requires further laser treatment.

Infection and swelling – If the corneal flap at the front of the eye is folded back or removed during laser surgery, complications such as infection and swelling may occur.


Although laser surgery is an efficient, long-lasting and generally effective method of improving one’s vision, there are still risks involved. Laser surgery can also affect different patients in different ways. Consult a medical professional and discuss all concerns before deciding whether or not to have laser eye surgery.