Dry Eye after LASIK

Dry Eye after LASIK - Pomona, NY

Apr 6, 2016 @ 09:00 AM — by Richard Gordon
Tagged with: Lasik | Eye Care |

 A woman applying eye dropsLASIK surgery is a safe and effective laser vision correction procedure that can permanently treat blurry vision caused by nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. However, the procedure is associated with some temporary side effects, including dry eye. At Palisades Laser Eye Center, Dr. Richard Gordon discusses dry eye after LASIK with our Pomona, NY patients. In this blog post, we provide an overview of dry eye symptoms, how this side effect can be treated, and how long you can expect dry eye to last after LASIK surgery.

The Cause of Dry Eye after LASIK

Corneal nerve damage is the cause of dry eye after LASIK. These nerves play an important role in tear production. The temporary damage to the corneal nerves affects the eyes ability to sense the need for lubrication. This can result in a feeling of dryness during the recovery period after LASIK surgery.

Dry Eye Symptoms

The symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Eye redness
  • Eye irritation
  • A scratchy feeling in the eye, or feeling as though something is caught in the eye
  • A stinging or burning sensation in the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Watery eyes

How Long Will Dry Eye Last?

In the days and weeks following LASIK surgery, the corneal nerves will repair themselves, improving the body’s ability to lubricate the eyes. The amount of time that it takes for dry eye to resolve depends on the patient. Some report dry eyes only for the first week after LASIK. Others experience dry eyes for about three months after treatment. About 10 percent of patients will experience dry eyes for up to six months. After six months, dry eyes should no longer be a problem.

Treatment for Dry Eye after LASIK

We recommend that patients have a new bottle of lubricating eye drops to use after LASIK surgery. Patients can use over-the-counter eye drops, and apply the eye drops in accordance with the package’s labeling.

When applying eye drops, it is important to follow our care instructions to reduce the risk of an eye infection. First, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands before handling the eye drops. Second, do not allow the eye drop dispenser to come into contact with your eyes or fingers. Apply the appropriate number of drops to each eye, and then put the cap back on the bottle, and store it in a cool, dry place.

Although it may be difficult to resist the urge to rub or itch your eyes when experiencing dry eyes, it is important to avoid these actions. In the days following LASIK surgery, the corneal flap is still healing. Touching or rubbing the eyes increases the risk of the flap becoming dislodged, which can cause post-LASIK complications. Use your eye drops to keep the eyes as comfortable as possible. If you find yourself unconsciously rubbing at the eyes, you may want to continue to wear your LASIK goggles to prevent this action.

To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, contact Palisades Laser Eye Center today.