Dry Eye After LASIK: Knowing What to Expect

eye drops
The team at Maple Eye and Laser Center has helped countless people in and around White Plains see better and lead more fulfilling lives in the process. Many times this means performing state-of-the-art custom LASIK surgery, a safe and effective way to improve vision without glasses or contact lenses.

While LASIK allows many people to see clearly, it's not without its side effects. With that in mind, let's look at dry eye syndrome and how that is linked to LASIK surgery.

How LASIK Is Performed

During LASIK surgery, a laser eye surgeon creates a flap in the epithelium, which is the topmost layer of the cornea. Once this flap is created, the LASIK surgeon is able to use a laser to reshape the cornea. By doing so, a LASIK surgeon can improve a person's vision, allowing them to see clearly, and in the vast majority of cases without the need for corrective lenses.

LASIK is ideal for the following vision issues that are known as refractive errors:

Myopia (Nearsightedness)
Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
Astigmatism

Why Dry Eye Occurs After LASIK

During the creation of the corneal flap, nerves in the cornea are affected. This disrupts the usual activity of the eye, which can consequently mean reduced tear production. This leads to itchy, irritated, and red eyes since the eyes are not lubricated enough.

How Long Will My Dry Eye Last?

Dry eye after LASIK surgery can last for a few months to even a few years. This can vary from patient to patient. In general, dry eye after LASIK will last for a few months, with dryness and irritation most pronounced in those first several weeks after LASIK. With time, the instances of dry eye typically abate, and patients have fewer issues with eye irritation.

In very rare instances, LASIK patients may experience dry eye for years and years. As we previously stated, however, these instances are rare. For most LASIK patients, the dry eye is temporary, or at least manageable.

Considering LASIK Candidacy: Preventing Serious Issues

Given that dry eye is a common side effect after LASIK surgery has been performed, eye surgeons carefully screen patients to ensure proper candidacy for LASIK. Because of this, people who have pre-existing issues with dry eye syndrome and eye moisture are not considered good candidates for LASIK surgery.

This precaution helps ensure that people who undergo LASIK are satisfied with the results and do not have to suffer through serious problems with vision quality or issues with overall quality of life.

Tips for Managing Dry Eye After LASIK

To help reduce the chances of serious dry eye after LASIK surgery, or to at least ameliorate the discomfort of dry eye associated with LASIK, eye care specialists recommend the following:

Follow pre-op instructions to the letter
Follow all post-op instructions to the letter
Carry lubricating eye drops with you at all times (especially in early months after surgery)
Avoid smoking and smoky environments
Be wary of dusty, dry, or pollen-filled places

Is LASIK Right for Me?

LASIK is great for many people, but it's not always the ideal solution for everyone. With that in mind, the only way to know for sure if LASIK is right for you and your needs is to visit the practice for a consultation. During your visit, we will be able to assess your situation and determine if LASIK would be best suited for you and your needs. We can also address your concerns and recommend alternatives to LASIK as needed to ensure you undergo the right vision correction procedure for your situation.

Learn More About LASIK Surgery

To learn more about LASIK surgery and how it can help you achieve optimal eyesight, be sure to contact our advanced eye care and vision correction center today. The team at Maple Eye and Laser Center will work with you to help you see clearly again.