What Are the Possible Side Effects of SMILE Eye Surgery?

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Vision correction surgery is a great way to treat vision problems, like nearsightedness. When surgery goes right, patients can reduce their dependence on expensive frames and contacts. One of the most effective treatments in Birmingham, AL is known as SMILE laser eye surgery

While SMILE procedures do have a lot to offer, all eye surgeries do come with side effects. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Young H. Choi can discuss them in full when you schedule an assessment at our office. Call Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center to discover whether SMILE can effectively improve your vision.

SMILE laser eye surgery side effects

SMILE uses some of the more advanced technology in the industry, requiring a special femtosecond laser to reshape the cornea. The new corneal shape allows light to refract more effectively on the retina. Blurry vision due to nearsightedness and astigmatism is greatly reduced. While SMILE is not designed for cases of farsightedness, Dr. Choi can offer alternative treatments.

As we mentioned, patients should be informed about possible SMILE laser eye surgery side effects. All of the listed symptoms here are considered mild and temporary. If you have severe symptoms that last longer than described, call our office right away for an assessment.

Night vision issues

After any vision correction surgery, you may experience glare from bright lights and halos around light sources. The issue is usually worse when seeing bright lights against a dark sky. This can make driving dangerous, which is why we ask patients to stay off the roads until they have healed from their SMILE procedure.


All eye surgeries carry some risk of infection. Your risk increases if you touch the treated area or expose your eyes to dust, dirt, chemicals, or other contaminants. Infections are easily treatable when caught early, so watch for symptoms, like red eyes, itching, or general discomfort. Prescription eye drops can also prevent infection in the first stages of recovery.

Hazy vision

This side effect may seem counterintuitive, especially if blurry vision is the reason you turned to SMILE in the first place. However, it’s normal to have some blurry or cloudy vision almost immediately after treatment. Rest assured this is a regular part of healing and your vision will continue to improve over the next several days and weeks.

Double vision

Double vision may or may not be a symptom after vision correction surgery in Birmingham, AL. You may see two images of the same object, or a shadow that follows the object around. Double vision usually goes away by itself over the course of a few weeks.

Dry eyes

Your eyes may feel sensitive directly after your SMILE procedure, causing some dryness and irritation. The specialists at Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center suggest taking a nap as soon as you get home from surgery. This prevents patients from rubbing or scratching their eyes.

Improve your vision through SMILE

Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center would never recommend a procedure unless we believed it was safe and effective for patients. SMILE is one of the best treatments for those dealing with nearsightedness and astigmatism. Now you can learn about SMILE laser eye surgery side effects when scheduling an appointment with Dr. Young H. Choi. Our team near Birmingham, AL can treat a range of vision issues and more.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.