person with caption 'Thinking about how this time 5 years ago I underwent laser eye surgery and now I live every day in pain so intense that it would compel most people to seek emergency medical care' (l) medica team performing eye surgery (c) person (r)

Dragon Images/Shutterstock @erinorchard88/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘My biggest regret’: Woman had laser eye surgery 5 years ago. She’s been in excruciating pain every day since

‘I never met an optometrist that got LASIK surgery so I won’t ever get it.’


Maya Wray


Posted on Jan 16, 2024   Updated on Jan 16, 2024, 12:15 pm CST

A former LASIK patient is speaking out about the chronic pain she’s endured since undergoing surgery five years ago, prompting viewers to share their own concerns about the procedure.

TikToker Erin Orchard (@erinorchard88) has candidly documented her post-LASIK journey for over 13,000 followers, describing the daily pain as “so intense that it would compel most people to seek emergency medical care” in a recent TikTok video posted on Jan. 7. 

“All part of the grieving process,” Orchard captioned her video, which has been viewed 3.9 million times since it was first posted. 

LASIK surgery has become an increasingly common corrective procedure despite a long list of risks and possible complications. Astigmatism, double vision, dry eyes, and even vision loss can occur, according to the Mayo Clinic. Overcorrections and undercorrections caused by the laser used in surgery might require a second LASIK procedure to fix.

@erinorchard88 All part of the grieving process 💙 #chronicpain #chronicillness #lasereyesurgerycomplications #lasik #prk #lasikeyesurgery #lasikcomplication #prksurgery #prksurgeryupdate #lasiksurgery #lasikeyesurgerycheck #spoonie #spoonielife #nervepain #chronicillnessawareness #lasereyesurgery #cornealneuralgia #trigeminalneuralgia #chronicpainlife #chronicpainawareness #chronicillnesstiktok #spooniesoftiktok ♬ Every Single Thing – Homeshake

In a second pinned video, Orchard explained that she developed neuropathic corneal pain after her LASIK procedure, leading her to spend thousands of dollars on various treatments to no avail. She said she suffered two hospitalizations post-surgery, including one on Christmas Eve. 

“Unfortunately, laser eye surgery has ruined my life,” Orchard emotionally stated before ending the video.

Another TikToker (@shanswanz) recently went viral after revealing that she underwent LASIK surgery in 2020 and found herself back in the doctor’s office three years later with worsening vision problems. There, she was blindsided by the news that she had developed corneal neuralgia.

@erinorchard88 Laser eye surgery ruined my life #lasereyesurgery #lasik #nervepain #chronicpain #healthcare #prk #lasikeyesurgery #ClassicCatch #Wee ♬ Night Trouble By Petit Biscuit – Tyler

Chronic pain and symptoms such as dry eyes were common after surgery for many viewers in the comments section of Orchard’s original video. “I got LASIK in 2020 and have suffered from chronic dry eye ever since. It’s debilitating at times,” user @shelby_nations wrote. 

“Had lasik 14 yrs ago, pain finally subsided after the 10yrs. It would wake me up in REM sleep,” another viewer shared.

Many said they did not trust the procedure because optometrists did not appear to trust it. “I saw a photo of a conference of Lasik doctors and most of them were wearing glasses,” user @danakayalsepiclife said. “That freaked me out.” 

“I worked for an optometrist years ago who said she would never ever consider lasik,” another viewer wrote. “That was enough for me to know never to do it.” 

The Daily Dot reached out to Orchard via TikTok direct message.

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*First Published: Jan 16, 2024, 8:00 pm CST