Mar 12

Dry Eye after LASIK

Posted on March 12, 2012 — by Eric Del Piero

LASIK is one of the most popular laser vision correction surgeries offered today. Millions of people all over the world have benefited from this laser eye surgery procedure. Of course, as we'll tell you at our Monterey eye care center, there are many risks and side effects related to LASIK surgery that patients need to be aware of. One common side effect that people experience is dry eye syndrome. This dry eye can be rather serious at times, which is why we take that into account when determining if LASIK is right for you.

About Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome refers to the chronic itchiness, dryness, and burning sensation of the eye. It occurs when there is no moisture present to lubricate the eyes, resulting in discomfort that can be quite severe. Eye drops can help lubricate the eyes and treat this condition.

Dry Eye Syndrome After LASIK Surgery

Many times dry eye syndrome will occur after LASIK because the nerves of the cornea are severed. (During LASIK, a small flap is created in the surface of the cornea, hence the severed nerves.) These nerves would usually signal the lacrimal gland to secrete moisture to lubricate the eyes. The nerves will mend themselves over time, but until then, patients will often experience issues with dry eyes since the nerves will not be able to trigger the lubrication to occur. In most cases, the dry eye after LASIK surgery will only last a few weeks to a few months. In rare cases, the dry eye can be persistent and last for much longer.

If you should experience dry eye after LASIK, the team at our Salinas and Monterey ophthalmology practice can provide you with various solutions to address the problem. Eye drops tend to be the best bet for dealing with this condition.

Candidacy for LASIK and Dry Eye Syndrome

Because dry eye is a common symptom after Monterey LASIK surgery, people who suffer from dry eye prior to LASIK are generally deemed poor candidates for LASIK. This is because the LASIK surgery can exacerbate existing issues with dry eye, making the dry particularly unbearable or irritating.

There are other factors to consider that may prevent people from getting LAISK apart from dry eye, including corneal thinness, age, pregnancy, and unstable vision.

LASIK Alternatives to Consider

If dry eye or other conditions make you a poor candidate for LASIK and other refractive surgeries, there are other options to consider. If anything, tried and true treatments for vision problems such as contact lenses and prescription glasses are always viable options to consider. These can be discussed in full detail during your visit to our practice.

Find Out if LASIK Surgery is the Best Option for You

LASIK may be a great option for you and your needs. Of course, dry eye and other factors may mean an alternative treatment is better. To learn more about refractive surgery and other vision correction options, contact our ophthalmologists in Salinas and Monterey today. Our entire team is eager to meet you in person and discuss your eye care goals in greater detail.

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