Dry Eye After LASIK: Side Effects of Laser Vision Correction
By Gordon Wong, OD on September 30, 2014
At GW Eye Associates here in La Jolla, we always want patients to know about the pros and cons of every kind of vision correction treatment out there. This is of great importance when it comes to LASIK eye surgery, which reshapes the cornea and improves eyesight in the process. One common issue that people face after undergoing LASIK is dry eye syndrome. Let's look at this matter in some basic detail.
About Dry Eye
Dry eye refers to the lack of moisture in the eyes. This results in feelings of itchiness and irritation, as well as redness of the eyes and difficulty seeing clearly.
Why does dry eye occur after LASIK?
The reason goes back to the nature of LASIK surgery itself. During LASIK, a small flap is created in the topmost portion of the cornea known as the epithelium. This allows a LASIK surgeon to make the necessary revisions to the corneal shape and hence improve vision.
When this corneal flap is created, however, it does affect the nerves in the eyes, which can reduce normal production of tears from the tear ducts.
How long will dry eye last after LASIK?
The problems with dry eye will last a few months, though attacks of dry eye syndrome should become less frequent as time goes on. The reason for this is the need for the nerves in the eyes to heal in order to restore normal function to the tear ducts. In very rare instances, the dry eye may last for years and may even be chronic or severe.
Because of this, prospective patients who already have dry eye are not considered ideal candidates for LASIK surgery. A non-surgical treatment would be best for their needs as LASIK would make matters worse for such patients.
There are a few simple things that you can do to address these issues with dry eye and prevent irritation and itchiness as you heal.
Carry Liquid Tears at All Times
One sure way to address dry eye when it happens is to have liquid tears on you at all times. With liquid tears, you can restore the moisture to your eyes and alleviate any sensations of dryness and itchiness that occur when you have a dry eye attack.
Tips for Preventing Severe Dry Eye
In order to prevent attacks of dry eye, it's a good idea to avoid places that are dry, dusty, smoky, arid, or filled with pollen. When working in the yard or doing anything that involves woodwork, be sure to wear eye protection (i.e., safety goggles).
By taking those above above preventative steps, you can avoid many serious cases of dry eye.
Follow Your Pre-op and Post-op Instructions Closely
To prevent complications and improve your overall healing experience, it is important that you follow your instructions for pre-operative and post-operative care to the letter. This will ensure optimal conditions for healing and wellness.
Knowing the Risks and Benefits of LASIK
By knowing all of the risks and benefits of LASIK, you will have a more realistic understanding of the procedure and what can be achieved. We are more than happy to go over all of these matters in full detail so that you can undergo the treatment that you need.
Learn More About Advanced Dental Care
For more information about LASIK surgery and how it can be of great benefit to you, it's important that you contact our eye care center today. The team at GW Eye Associates will go over all of your options for advanced eye care in greater detail.
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Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.Kathrine Holladay