Does LASIK Cause Dry Eye?
LASIK, a widely sought-after laser vision correction procedure, treats nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. While generally safe, it’s essential to recognize potential risks, including the occurrence of dry eye. Discover the relationship between LASIK and dry eye, its symptoms, and ways to prevent it.
Dry Eye Defined:
Dry eye arises when tear production is insufficient or tears evaporate rapidly. Its symptoms encompass burning sensations, gritty or scratchy feelings, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, and/or blurred vision. This prevalent issue can affect people of all ages, with a higher prevalence in women and those frequently exposed to screens.
The LASIK Connection:
LASIK surgery can contribute to dry eye due to its impact on tear distribution across the eye’s surface. The creation of a corneal flap during LASIK may disrupt the tear film’s equilibrium, hindering even tear distribution and leading to dry eye symptoms.
The likelihood of dry eye post-LASIK is relatively common. Most LASIK recipients encounter no symptoms, but some might experience mild to moderate discomfort that typically resolves with time.
Consultation and Prevention:
When considering LASIK, engaging in a conversation with your eye doctor is paramount. Discussing potential dry eye risks equips you to make an informed choice. In case dry eye emerges after LASIK, your eye doctor can suggest tailored treatments.
Preventing Dry Eye After LASIK:
- Effective preventative measures include:
- Regular use of artificial tears
- Refraining from eye rubbing
- Introducing a humidifier at home
- Ensuring sufficient sleep
- Staying well-hydrated
Managing Post-LASIK Dry Eye:
Should dry eye symptoms manifest after LASIK, promptly consulting your eye doctor is advised. Their expertise aids in identifying optimal treatments aligned with your specific needs.
Understanding the reported link between LASIK and dry eye enables you to navigate the procedure’s risks effectively. Prioritizing your eye health through informed decision-making, preventative measures, and professional guidance ensures a positive LASIK experience.
Refractive Surgery Council. “Is LASIK Safe? What You Need to Know,” October 13, 2022. https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/is-lasik-safe/#:~:text=LASIK%20is%20one%20of%20the,of%20patients%20suffer%20complications%20LASIK.
Shtein, Roni M. “Post-LASIK Dry Eye.” Expert Review of Ophthalmology. Taylor & Francis, October 1, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1586/eop.11.56.
Optometrists.org. “Dry Eyes After LASIK – Optometrists.Org,” November 12, 2021. https://www.optometrists.org/general-practice-optometry/optical/guide-to-laser-refractive-surgery/dry-eyes-after-lasik/.