Dry Eyes After LASIK

As the most popular elective surgery in the world, LASIK has transformed the vision of countless patients who were previously frustrated with the limitations experienced by wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.

While incredibly safe and successful, there are some considerations that patients should make for the recovery period after their LASIK procedure. One of these is the development of a condition that is known as dry eyes or dry eye syndrome.

What is dry eye syndrome?

Also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, dry eye syndrome is the most common side effect experienced by patients who have opted for LASIK laser eye surgery.

This condition occurs when disruptions to the ocular surfaces and tear ducts caused during the normal process of LASIK mean that the eyes are either no longer able to produce tears correctly or are producing tears that are abnormally thin and are therefore evaporating much more quickly than they should.

Some patients will find that their eyes become inflamed, and unless treatment is sought, there is a possibility of scarring on the cornea. For this reason, treatment to help prevent dry eye is provided to patients who are undergoing LASIK surgery.

dry eyes

LASIK is not the only cause of dry eyes. The condition can also occur as a result of other problems and medical conditions including:

  • Blepharitis

  • Allergic conjunctivitis

  • Sjögren’s Syndrome

  • Lupus

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • HIV

  • Previous trauma to the eye

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome

There are a variety of different symptoms that can be indicative of the development of dry eyes. These include:

  • Eyes that feel like they are burning

  • Red eyes

  • Blurred vision, even after blinking

  • Eyelids that are stuck together when you wake up in the morning

  • Eyes that feel gritty and sore

  • Discharge from the eyes

  • Heavy eyelids

  • Discomfort when trying to wear contact lenses
  • Difficulty reading or carrying out tasks that require extensive visual concentration

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should arrange an appointment with Dr. Ahdoot.

What sort of treatment will my eye doctor give me to prevent dry eyes?

In most instances, you can expect our LASIK surgeon to provide you with a course of eye drops that will help to keep the eye lubricated and reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. There are various different types of eye drops available, and we will be able to recommend which is likely to be the appropriate choice for you. These include oily drops, ointments, anti-inflammatory treatments, and even corticosteroid topical solutions.

Since it is difficult to know exactly how long you will experience dry eye for, it may be necessary for you to obtain a repeat prescription for these eye drops so that you can use the solution for as long as necessary. Our LASIK surgeon may wish to review your situation before recommending that you continue with the treatment.

If you are considering LASIK laser eye surgery and would like more information about the procedure itself, or the likelihood of dry eyes, our team will be happy to assist you. Call Progressive Ophthalmology today at 718-565-2020 to schedule an appointment.