If you are tired of wearing eyeglasses or corrective lenses, then you may be considering LASIK surgery. But LASIK isn’t just about ditching the glasses. Like with any medical procedure, there are possible risks involved, and you should ask your doctor about any concerns you have. A common question regarding LASIK is: does it cause dry eyes? Here Dr. Belmont addresses the causes, risks and treatments of dry eye after LASIK surgery.
LASIK surgery affects the nerves that regulate the production of tears. As a result, it is extremely common to develop dry eye after undergoing LASIK. Approximately 50 percent of patients experience this; symptoms are typically mild and often do not last long. However, in some cases dry eye can persist for months or years.
Eye surgery can reduce the sensitivity of the corneal nerves, which can prevent your eye from recognizing the need for lubrication and cause you to produce fewer tears. The technique used in LASIK is more likely than some other common eye surgeries to cause this problem.
Dry eye is not always the result of LASIK or other eye surgery; many people experience it well before their procedure. Contact lens use is a common cause of dry eye.
If you already suffer from dry eye, treatment may be offered before eye surgery to reduce the chances of post-surgery discomfort.
Your eye surgeon may suggest the following either before or after surgery to help with tear production:
If dry eye is developed after LASIK, you may be advised to have punctal plugs inserted into your eyes’ drainage channels to increase moisture.
Some people have conditions that increase their chances of experiencing dry eye after LASIK has been performed. It is important to discuss these with your doctor prior to treatment so that any necessary precautions can be taken. Some conditions include:
Early detection is the key to avoiding severe dry eye after LASIK surgery. If you are considering LASIK, there are various tests for detecting dry eye that your eye doctor can administer. For more information, contact Dr. Sandra Belmont at (212)-486-2020.