|Lasik and Bladeless Lasik may induce dry eye symptoms during
the normal six month healing period.
Dry Eyes after Lasik is a common condition during the immediate recovery
period. If you have dry eyes before conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, or Epi-Lasik, you may not be excluded as a candidate for refractive surgery, but it is a condition that you must
report to your doctor. Pre-existing dry eyes needs to be evaluated,
treated, and resolved before surgery.
This article is about why dry eyes occur and how to prepare
before surgery. A related article is Lasik dry eye treatment.
Tear Quantity, Tear Quality
Two popular methods to test for dry eyes is a Tear Break-Up Test (TBUT) to determine tear quality and
a Schirmer test to determine tear quantity. Dry eye treatment
will depend upon the cause and severity of the dry eyes. Dry
eyes is a medical condition and treatment would normally be
covered under by major medical insurance plans.
Lasik Induced Temporary Dry Eyes
It is common to experience dry eyes for a short period after
Lasik, Bladeless Lasik and sometimes PRK and its cousins LASEK
and Epi-Lasik. Virtually everyone who has Lasik or Bladeless
Lasik will experience dry eyes, but the important issue is to
what degree and for how long.
For the vast majority of refractive surgery recipients, the
degree of dry eye symptoms is not significant enough to cause
difficulties. Even those who do have some trouble most often
find the dry eye symptoms resolve within the normal six-month
healing period. For an unfortunate few patients, Lasik induced
dry eyes is a long-term complication that, although manageable,
may be very disruptive.
There are many techniques to reduce the probability of dry
eyes being induced by surgery, but most are the responsibility
of the doctor. Prevention of Lasik related dry eyes is primarily
focused on proper patient selection and treatment of pre-existing
dry eye prior to surgery.
Drowning In Artificial Tears
There are many techniques to treat dry eye. The most common
are preservative-free artificial tears, lubricating gel, punctal plugs, Restasis, and flax seed oil supplements. The technique
best suited depends upon the exact nature of the tear deficiency
and underlying cause. There are many types of artificial tear eye drops for slightly different purposes.
Less Dry Eye With Surface Ablation
Although PRK, LASEK, and Epi-Lasik may induce dry eye symptoms,
Lasik and Bladeless Lasik seem to be the more commonly associated
with dry eyes. This is partly because the Lasik techniques are
more disruptive to the corneal nerves than PRK and LASEK. For
this reason, patients with preexisting dry eyes may find PRK,
LASEK, or Epi-Lasik a better choice. Other techniques such as RLE, and P-IOLs only marginally disrupt the corneal nerves, but have
their own limitations. Whatever the surgery of choice, the less
the corneal nerves are disrupted, the faster the nerves recover
and normal tear function returns.
Be sure to discuss any dry eye problems (before or after
surgery) with your doctor.
Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?
If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional
or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization.
Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.
If this article did not fully answer your questions, use our
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