Side Effects of Lasik Surgery

What to Expect After the Procedure While Healing

Certain side effects are normal after undergoing LASIK, as they are part of the healing process. Most of these side effects are usually temporary and are treated with the medications prescribed by your surgeon. They usually begin to lessen just days following your procedure.

Close up of an eye with an eye chart reflecting in it
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Possible Side Effects

Most patients will experience a sandy, gritty feeling in the eyes the first few days following a LASIK procedure. Some may also have blurred vision, mild pain, and tearing for the first 48 to 72 hours. Some patients state that they are slightly light sensitive for a few days.

During the first few weeks, patients usually complain about halos or glare when driving at night. Your eyes may also feel dry for the first couple of months after LASIK. However, most of these side effects resolve quickly and are to be expected.


It is important to understand the difference between side effects and complications of LASIK. LASIK complications can happen to your eyes or vision during surgery or even after surgery. While these complications are rare, it is important to know that they could possibly occur:

  • Possible lost vision: Occasionally, some patients will see a deterioration in their best-corrected vision. You may not see as well after the surgery as you did with eyeglasses or contact lenses before.
  • Severe dry eye syndrome: Some patients lose the ability to produce sufficient tears after undergoing LASIK, resulting in a condition referred to as dry eye syndrome.
  • Need for further procedures: Some patients may require a "touch-up" procedure after having LASIK to further correct their vision. Changes may occur during the healing process that requires further correction.
  • Need for reading glasses: People usually require reading glasses as they age, a condition referred to as presbyopia. Unfortunately, LASIK cannot correct presbyopia.
6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Randleman JB, Shah RD. LASIK interface complications: etiology, management, and outcomesJ Refract Surg. 2012;28(8):575-586. doi:10.3928/1081597X-20120722-01

  2. Wang B, Naidu RK, Chu R, Dai J, Qu X, Zhou H. Dry Eye Disease following Refractive Surgery: A 12-Month Follow-Up of SMILE versus FS-LASIK in High MyopiaJ Ophthalmol. 2015;2015:132417. doi:10.1155/2015/132417

  3. Bamashmus MA, Hubaish K, Alawad M, Alakhlee H. Functional outcome and patient satisfaction after laser in situ keratomileusis for correction of myopia and myopic astigmatismMiddle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2015;22(1):108-114. doi:10.4103/0974-9233.148359

  4. Karimian F, Faramarzi A, Lotfi A. Late Post-LASIK visual DeteriorationJ Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2010;5(4):273-277.

  5. Shtein RM. Post-LASIK dry eyeExpert Rev Ophthalmol. 2011;6(5):575-582. doi:10.1586/eop.11.56

  6. Tran K, Ryce A. Laser Refractive Surgery for Vision Correction: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness and Cost-effectiveness. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.

Additional Reading

By Troy Bedinghaus, OD
Troy L. Bedinghaus, OD, board-certified optometric physician, owns Lakewood Family Eye Care in Florida. He is an active member of the American Optometric Association.