Dry Eye and LASIK

Dry eyes are no fun: They itch, sting and tear up. They’re a possible side effect of LASIK eye surgery, but usually they clear up within the first year of recovery. It is important when considering LASIK that you understand the possibility of experiencing dry eyes after your procedure. If you suffer from dry eye prior to LASIK, proper preoperative treatment can be provided to you so that you will have the best possible LASIK results and experience.

The eye requires that it be continuously covered by natural tears produced by the eye. Dry eye is a condition where not enough tears are produced to keep the eye comfortable and healthy.

In Ft. Collins, your surgeon uses several diagnostic tests to help diagnose dry eyes. There are many ways to treat dry eyes depending on your particular situation.

Dry Eye Before LASIK Surgery

Having dry eyes does not rule you out as a candidate for LASIK surgery, although it may postpone your treatment. Patients with dry eyes who wish to undergo LASIK require treatment for their dry eyes prior to undergoing surgery.

A normal, healthy tear film is a requirement for a successful LASIK eye surgery procedure. A healthy tear film contains several components that help to protect the eye against infection, and it provides a smooth optical surface that is integral to clear vision.

Before LASIK and during your consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your tear film and may measure the quantity of tears you produce. The goal is for your surgeon to be comfortable with the quantity of your tears so that you can get the best possible results from your LASIK procedure.

Dry Eye After LASIK Surgery

It is normal and expected that during the creation of the flap in surgery a certain number of the corneal nerves will be temporarily damaged. This means that for some time after your LASIK procedure, the regular nerve impulses that ordinarily would have told the lacrimal gland to produce tears will be interrupted, which may cause dry eyes. This is a normal and expected part of the healing process after LASIK. Every LASIK patient will need to use lubricating and moisturizing drops often after their procedure. In almost all cases dry eye symptoms disappear within a couple of months—and sometimes within a few weeks.

If you are interested in LASIK and would like to set up a consultation, contact Eye Center of Northern Colorado at 970-221-2343 or eyecenternoco.com today.