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Woman Uses TikTok To Spread Awareness Of Laser Eye Surgery Complications

Laser eye surgery is a fairly common procedure that people with vision problems undergo to improve their eyesight. Like the name implies, it uses lasers to make corrections to the cornea. Since 1999, around 10 million people in the U.S. have undergone this surgery.

Though the success rate for this kind of surgery is high, complications are possible. One woman on TikTok tells her story of the chronic pain she's had since receiving the surgery.

Content Warning: mentions of suicide.

The complications of the surgery can be devestating.

Erin Orchard is a 33-year-old woman who suffers from long-term complications due to her laser eye surgery in 2019, Buzzfeed reports.

It all started January of 2019.

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Erin decided to undergo the surgery after getting engaged. "I decided I didn’t want to wear glasses on my wedding day...which seems so silly to me now,"she told them.

The surgery should have been routine.

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Thousands of people get this surgery each day, nearly all with positive results. But there is also a risk of the surgery going wrong, which was unfortunately the case for Erin.

"The surgery experience itself was very uncomfortable and distressing."

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"I experienced a severe panic attack during the surgery and repeatedly asked the surgeon to stop... However, a staff member held me and in approximately 15 minutes the surgery was complete and I left the clinic, still quite shaken," Erin described.

Her pain began shortly after the procedure.

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Around two or three days later, Erin began experiencing severe pain and light sensitivity: "My eyes felt as though they were burning and someone was pushing small shards of glass into them."

She suffers from neuropathic corneal pain.

This chronic condition, which causes severe pain and discomfort in the eyes, has affected Erin's physical and emotional well-being: "My experience of neuropathic corneal pain and the involvement with my eye surgeon has negatively affected my mental health and I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD."

Erin tried to seek help from her doctor.

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The doctor who performed the surgery acted unprofessionally, consuming alcohol during their next appointment after she began experiencing the pain.

She launched a complaint against him, but he was never reprimanded. "I have appealed this outcome, but am still waiting to hear back; I don’t want to get my hopes up again."

She has now taken to TikTok to share her story.

Erin uses her TikTok account to talk about her ongoing journey with neuropathic corneal pain. She documents her good days and bad days, showing that the road to relief isn't easy.

It's been incredibly difficult.

Recently, a member of her eye surgery support group unfortunately took his own life. The reality is that the people who suffer from these complications also suffer lasting psychological effects.

"Suicidal ideation and suicide is common amongst people who suffer from laser eye surgery complications, such as chronic pain," Erin says.

The complications may be rare, but there are still many out there who suffer.

Although fewer than 1% of people who undergo laser eye surgery wind up with long-term side effects, there are still so many who do.

Through Erin's TikTok updates, she hopes to spread awareness of her condition. Through views and comments, she's received quite a bit of support from the public.

h/t: Buzzfeed.

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