FDA Studies LASIK Surgery Risks

Experts are urging the Food and Drug Administration to warn patients about the risks of the increasingly popular laser eye surgery.
Perry resident George Ford says his eyeglasses are ineffective and annoying. "These here don't let you see. you have to pull them way up to look out the bottom. If they slide down you miss the letter. So that's why I don't like them."
Ford says he wishes he was one of the six million people in the nation that has undergone LASIK-- a refractive laser eye surgery for correcting farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. But, a group of experts is urging the Food and Drug Administration to warn patients about the possible side effects.
Dr. Joel Shugar at the Nature Coast EyeCare Institute in Perry said, "It's the FDA's job to investigate every single complaint. But if you put it in perspective, 134 complaints out of six million procedures, is just an outstanding track record."
The risks of LASIK include: a lose of lines of vision on the vision chart, debilitating symptoms such as glare, halos, and/or double vision, severe dry eye syndrome, and the most common-under or over treatment. Despite the risks, about 98 percent of patients report their quality of life after LASIK is what they had expected or better.
But, Dr. Shugar says the Orb scan, which Nature Coast has the only one in the region, can decrease the risks.
"Orb doesn't just take a picture of the surface of eyes but it basically does a CAT Scan of the cornea." He said.
For those who are not good candidates for LASIK, implantable contact lens may be the next best thing.
Tony Schie came to Nature Coast from Thomasville. He had lens implants done two weeks ago.
"I couldn't see before. I haven't needed glasses since and I can see two miles down the road.I'm just tickled pink."
LASIK is not recommended for those with fluctuating glasses prescriptions, pregnant women, and those over 60.
The FDA has launched a study of patient outcomes to get more information on LASIK results.The study will take years to complete.