LASIK and dry eye
Dry eye is a common side effect of LASIK eye surgery. Moisturizing eye drops are always prescribed after surgery to encourage tear production and help the eyes stabilize.
Even with these drops, however, some patients experience dry eye symptoms such as:
• Blurred vision
The good news is that these symptoms are generally temporary and will subside in the weeks and months following surgery.
Why does LASIK produce dry eye?
During LASIK eye surgery, Dr. Penno cuts a thin flap on the cornea so she can use a laser to reshape the cornea underneath the flap. When the corneal flap is created, small nerves in the cornea are cut which supply impulses to the lacrimal, or tear-producing, gland.
As a result, the patient’s eyes are not able to produce the proper amount of lubrication. This is usually a temporary condition that corrects itself in the weeks following surgery as the nerves regrow.
Can I have LASIK surgery if I have dry eye?
If you already have symptoms of dry eye you may be able to undergo LASIK. During a thorough examination, Dr. Penno may determine that in your case it would be safe.
It may also be prudent to insert collagen or silicone punctal plugs into the openings where tears drain out of the eyes (called puncta, singular is punctum). These plugs can remain in the eyes for weeks or months and keep better lubrication on the eyes prior to surgery.
If you suffer from severe dry eye you may not be a good candidate for LASIK.
It is important to share your medical history with Dr. Penno during the consultation, including dry eye symptoms and all medications you are taking. This will help us to give you the best treatment options possible.
For a free consultation, please contact Western Laser Eye Associates today to see if you are a good candidate for this popular surgery.