Dry Eye after LASIK
By David Gross on October 29, 2012
LASIK is among the safest and most popular treatments of the most common refractive errors, myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. It is highly effective in the correction of vision flaws and has been used by millions to achieve 20/40 or better vision, with most of our Lake County patients achieving 20/20 vision. While there are many benefits of LASIK, there are risks involved as well. One of the most common side-effects associated with LASIK is dry eye. This side effect is so common that almost half of all patients who undergo LASIK will experience dry eye to some degree. Very rarely, patients may experience side-effects that persist for months or even years after their LASIK surgery. While the risk of developing dry eye after LASIK is real, the doctors at our Lake County vision center, Deen-Gross Eye Centers, will do everything possible to minimize this risk. Indeed, the vast majority of our Lake County LASIK patients who experience dry eye will do so only temporarily, if at all. Typically, patients experience a tapering off of dry eye within a few days or a couple of weeks of their LASIK surgery.
To ensure the best possible outcome, we carefully screen each patient before approving his or her LASIK surgery. Patients who are at an increased risk of developing dry eye or who are currently experiencing chronic dry eye may benefit from alternative vision correction treatments. If it is determined that you are not a suitable candidate for LASIK, for whatever reason, an alternative procedure will be recommended. To determine which treatment is best suited to your unique eye needs, please schedule an appointment today.
Why Dry Eye after LASIK Occurs
Any patient who undergoes the LASIK procedure is at risk for developing dry eye after surgery. Even patients who do not have a history of dry eye can develop dry eye after LASIK. It is thought that dry eye after LASIK occurs from the creation of the corneal flap. During this process, the corneal nerves are damaged. Because of the damage to the corneal nerves, the normal nerve impulses that control tear production are interrupted. During the healing period of the corneal flap, dry eye can result. The majority of our Lake County LASIK dry eye patients no longer experience symptoms of dry eye after LASIK once the corneal flap has completed healed.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
The symptoms of dry eye include:
- Eyes that are unable to tolerate even the tiniest amount of wind, smoke, or dryness
- Irritated, itchy eyes
- Blurry vision
- Crusting around the eyes
- Fluctuating vision
- Excessive tearing of the eyes
- Stinging or burning in the eyes
Dry Eye and LASIK: Risk Factors
Factors that put patients at an increased risk of developing dry eye after LASIK include:
- Women who are post-menopausal have an increased risk of developing dry eye
- Older patients have an increased risk of developing dry eye
- Taking medications that contribute to dry eye
- Living in a dry environment
- Being exposed to dry air, such as that in air-conditioned or heated rooms
Contact Deen-Gross Eye Centers Today
To learn more about dry eye after LASIK, or to schedule an examination, please contact Deen-Gross Eye Centers today. Our skilled staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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"After wearing glasses my entire life, Dr. Gross corrected my eyesight to better than 20/20 vision."Richard B - St. John, IN