US to probe eye laser side-effects
16 October 2009 04:11am
The US government is to investigate problems connected with laser eye-correcting surgery, which include blurred vision and dry eyes.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it will work with the National Eye Institute and the Department of Defence to determine the percentage of patients who experience negative side-effects following Lasik surgery.
The first phase of the project is already under way, with plans for an online questionnaire to help patients gauge their quality of life following surgery, according to the FDA.
The project will also include a clinical trial tracking patients who undergo the procedure, which is expected to conclude by 2012.
"This study will enhance our understanding of the risks of Lasik and could lead to a reduction in patients who experience adverse effects," said Dr Jeffrey Shuren, the acting head of FDA's medical device division.
An estimated six million Americans have undergone Lasik surgery, which permanently reshapes the cornea, a clear layer covering the eye. There are no guarantees of 20/20 vision and the long-term safety of the procedure is still unknown.
Ophthalmology societies report that about 95% of patients are satisfied with their new vision. But a small number of patients have reported permanent damage to their eyes following the surgery, including double vision, dry eye and halos around objects at night.
The FDA agreed to look into the problems in 2008 after years of complaints. The agency said last summer it had received 140 reports of Lasik-related problems between 1998 and 2006.
Lasik procedures have fallen off in the past year as consumers cut back on the pricey operations, which can cost between £940 and £3,130.
© The Press Association
|The US government is to investigate problems connected with laser eye-correcting surgery, which include blurred vision and dry eyes.|
I worked with several people at my last site who had Lasik done, got great results like 20/20+ vision -- but both had the dry eye thing pretty bad. I remember what dry eye was like with contacts, and its not something I'd want to deal with. I live in a dry climate as it is and don't need something like this to make it worse. Guess I'll just put up with glasses.
I don't want NOBODY messing with my eyes!