border-line dry eye and Lasik

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border-line dry eye and Lasik

Postby GeneralPatientInquiry » Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:05 pm

Hello. I had an evaluation for LASIK surgery yesterday. I am scheduled to have the procedure in January 2005. The doc performed the paper tear production test because I am unable to comfortabley wear contacts in the Atlanta area. I was also unable to wear them in Cincinnati and Newark. However, I had no problems wearing them when I lived In Wisconsin. Also, I have never had dry eye symptoms when I am not wearing contacts.

I think the tear test was "border-line". He explained that I may have dry eye symptons beyond the normal healing period after LASIK. He mentioned the duct inserts as well. Would you recommend another evaluation, surgery, or no surger?
Thanks.
Kate in Georgia
This post is a reprint of a previously requested inquiry received by USAEyes.org via email.
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Postby LasikExpert » Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:08 pm

Kate,

Don't underestimate the seriousness of dry eye problems. They can be quite miserable and cause very poor vision.

First of all, you need to treat the dry eye. We have a detailed article on dry eye treatments at our sister website ComplicatedEyes.org. Get the dry eye under control, and then decide about having surgery.

Depending upon your circumstances, you may want to consider a surface ablation laser surgery technique like PRK or its cousins LASEK and Epi-Lasik. These techniques are less likely to cause dry eye problems than Lasik.

Only you can decide if surgery is right for you, but you already know that you are not today an ideal candidate. Perhaps a different technique and a few weeks or months of dry eye treatment will make you a better candidate.
Last edited by LasikExpert on Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby etess » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:03 pm

Hello...I am responding to your post for a long time ago...but did you ever get lasik? I am in a similar situation now...and looking for advice. See my post by etess!

Thanks so much!
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Postby Betty39 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:22 pm

I never knew I had dry eyes before surgery. I wore contacts successfully for 21 years. My eyes didn't feel dry and my surgeon didn't test me but now says I was probably boarderline and we didn't know it. When Glenn says don't underestimate the effects of dry eyes that is sooo true! Before I would think,"Dry eyes, so what use some artificial tears." I am now 4 months post op and have been to a corneal specialist who has prescribed Restatis for me. I've only been on it a week so I'm crossing my fingers as the plugs and other remedies haven't really worked so far. Dry eye is miserable. My eyes sting and burn mildly to moderately depending on the time of day and I hate it. So not to scare you off the Lasik, and my vision by the way is outstanding, but understand like I didn't that dry eye is VERY uncomfortable and the artificial tears and gels only work temporarily.
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Postby etess » Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:59 am

Thank you! So glad to hear from someone.

I am actually going back to the surgeon tomorrow to get the tear staining test. Then, I'm going to another doctor for a 2nd opinion.

I hope that Restasis works for you! I am starting it as well...whether I get lasik or not.

Thanks!!!
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Postby Betty39 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:51 am

Make sure the doctor does the Schimers test too. It's the one where they put the little strips of paper in your eyes. I say that because my staining test came back good indicating that I have a good quality of tears (no dry spots) but I have poor quantity of tears (Left eye 2, right eye 3, about 10 is normal)
So make sure you get that done too.
Good luck in your decision.
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Postby etess » Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:38 pm

Thanks again!

Do you have a 2 and 3 now? That is very dry! I did have the Schrimer's test done and rec'd a 9 and 10. But, on-line, it is said that the test takes 5 minutes. My doctor's tech only had the paper in for less than a minute...!

Anyway, I will inquire about the length of the Schrimer's test as well today.

Thanks again for your reply!!!
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Postby Betty39 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:36 pm

They did the test on me last week and then I started the Restatis. I go next week again to see how I'm doing. Keeping my fingers crossed!
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Postby etess » Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:54 am

Well, I found out today that my doctor didn't do the Schrimer test. He did another type of test...so my reading of 9 and 10 isn't that great. Anything below 15 is abnormal. I can't remember what the test is called...but starts with a Z.

I went to another surgeon today as well for a second opinion....he DID the Schirmer test. I am a 5 in both eyes. Not happy about that...

Still leaning towards the lasik....hard decision....

Would you say that you regret getting lasik? Were you able to wear contacts? I cannot comfortably...and am just so tired of wearing glasses!
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Postby etess » Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:55 am

Oh, and Betty....GOOD LUCK!

Does your doctor expect to see results from the Restasis within 1 week?
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Postby Betty39 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:11 pm

As of right now, almost 5 months post op, I do regret this decision. And my vision is perfect. I could and did wear my contacts with little problem for 21 years. If the dry eye ever does go away then obviously with no other problems I will be happy. But if it doesn't then I have truly made a huge, expensive mistake.
I didn't know I had any dry eye issues pre surgery. I had no symptoms. You already know you have. Maybe you will have problems, maybe you wont. It's a risk and a gamble. At least you know what you could be facing if you go through with it. I didn't and I regret that I didn't research this better beforehand.
My doctor said it can take up to 3 months for the Restatis to work. It doesn't help eveyone. I hope it helps me.
Good Luck in your decision
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