LASIK (Laser assisted In situ Keratomileusis) is the most common surgical procedure performed on the eye for refractive errors. LASIK involves creation of a flap in the cornea of the eye using either a blade (Microkeratome) or laser (Femtosecond laser). The corneal flap is then lifted; Excimer laser applied underneath the flap according to the refractive error and the flap is then put back.

Central toxic keratopathy is a rare syndrome seen after LASIK vision correction for spectacles. It is hypothesised that the Excimer laser used to treat the prescription causes cell death in the cornea.


CTK usually presents 3 to 9 days after LASIK vision correction. The main symptom is very blurry vision. The eye could be red or painful.


  • Slit lamp examination of the eye showing dense opacity in the cornea
  • Striae or folds in the cornea due to loss of corneal tissue
  • Preceding inflammation in the cornea otherwise known as Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis (DLK).


The opacity in the cornea clears with time and the vision improves, but may take months. There is no immediate treatment for CTK. The prescription residual in the eye could be retreated after the prescription becomes stable.

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