More and more people have been turning to laser eye surgery to enhance their vision and to see clearly. While glasses and contact lenses have been good solutions for vision issues in the past, LASIK eye surgery is an effective option for addressing refractive errors, allowing patients to reduce their dependence on corrective lenses and experience better vision. As with any surgery, however, LASIK is not without side effects or risks. One serious risk to keep in mind is dry eye syndrome.
We’d like to take a moment right now to consider dry eye and LASIK surgery so that you can have realistic expectations about the procedure, what it entails, and what you can expect following the surgery. This will help provide prospective patients with realistic expectations about refractive surgery.
About LASIK Surgery
Some basics about LASIK surgery first. LASIK is a refractive procedure that is performed to address myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. During the procedure, a small flap is made in the topmost layer of the cornea. Through this flap, a laser is used to reshape the cornea and improve the passage of light through the eyes.
Is dry eye common after LASIK?
Yes, dry eye does occur after LASIK surgery. It’s a side effect that many patients will face following the procedure.
Why does dry eye occur following LASIK?
When the flap is created in the cornea, the nerves of the cornea are affected. This will alter the tear production and moisture in the eyes as a result.
How long will this dry eye last?
In most cases, the dry eye that patients experience after LASIK surgery will only last a few weeks to a few months. Generally tear production will return to normal once the patient has fully healed. In rare instances, the dry eye issues will last for much longer.
LASIK Candidacy and People with Dry Eye Syndrome
When determining candidacy for LASIK, dry eye becomes an important factor to consider. Patients who have dry eye already are not recommended for surgery. The reason for this is that the surgery can make the dry eye that is already experienced even more severe. Even though IntraLase LASIK offers the safest laser vision correction today, dry eye cannot be avoided, and so patients with dry eye already will need to consider alternatives to LASIK.
Tips for Dealing with Dry Eye After LASIK
Since patients will experience dry eye after LASIK, there are a few things that they can do to make their experience more tolerable. This includes:
- Carrying liquid tears with them at all times
- Avoiding smoky, dusty, or arid environments
- Noticing various triggers for dry eye attacks
- Following post-op instructions to the letter to improve healing
Additional tips and advice can be provided to you during the consultation process.
Learn More About Laser Eye Surgery
If you would like to learn more about laser eye surgery and how it can help you achieve excellent vision, be sure to contact our Jacksonville laser eye surgery center today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve exceptional vision in the process.