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Eye and Vision Care

Can Lasik cause optic neuritis?

01/09/2008

Question:

Hello, Can Lasik cause optic neuritis? I went blind in my right eye after two Lasik treatments (the first procedure did not work, thus returned for a second) and now I am blind in that eye. The specialists diagnosed me with optic neuritis, and through personal research, I have found articles that state optic nerve damage may be caused via barotrauma/IOP instability, (from suction ring and/or topical steroids) from Lasik. As well, many articles I`ve read mention Lasik-induced glaucoma which may irrepairably damage the optic nerve. At this point, my vision is not likely to return as I am 18 months post op from the second procedure. Let me know. Thanks!

Answer:

To the best of my knowledge LASIK surgery has never been linked to optic neuritis. Optic neuritis is more inflammatory in nature and is linked to MS. The potential nerve damage from the IOP instability from LASIK can in a very small percentage of the population produce a neuropathy, meaning damage to the optic nerve, but this is entirely different from neuritis. I hope this does help with your research.

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Response by:

Melissa M Walters, OD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University