What You Should Know About LASIK And Dry Eye

If you have been thinking about getting laser eye surgery, specifically LASIK, you might have wondered if you could be at risk for dry eye. Dry eye commonly develops in people who get LASIK to improve their vision, but that does not mean you are sure to get it if you undergo surgery.

If you are afraid of dry eye as a side effect of LASIK, there are a few things you need to know first. Here's what you should know before your LASIK appointment.

Is Dry Eye Common After Surgery?

After laser eye surgery, many people do experience the symptoms of dry eye. Dry eye is typically very mild and, in most cases, it only lasts a few weeks. In rare cases, people experience dry eyes lasting for months. In even rarer cases, dry eye is a lifelong condition.

Dry eye often develops after surgery on a temporary basis because the doctor has to create a flap in the cornea. The cornea needs some time to recover, especially because the nerves of the cornea may be impacted by the small incision.

What If You Have Dry Eye Before Surgery?

If you already have a dry eye condition before surgery, you should get treatment before surgery. Intervention before surgery can prevent your condition from growing worse after your treatment. This is also important because your dry eyes will not be corrected optimally. The eye doctor needs to ensure that your cornea is as healthy as possible before performing surgery so that you have the best possible results.

What Puts You at Risk for Dry Eye?

Some people are at higher risk for conditions like dry eye before and after laser eye surgery. You should talk to your doctor about your health conditions, including autoimmune disorders that could affect your eyes.

You may be at higher risk for this condition if you take certain medications, including antihistamines or decongestants. People who take antidepressants may also be at risk.

Keep in mind that your eye doctor is already going to do everything possible to make sure that you do not develop dry eye. This will involve extra examinations of your eyes and their structures.

What Should You Do Next?

If you are going to have LASIK, make sure you talk to your eye surgeon about the potential for a dry eye condition. This is a serious issue that can be very uncomfortable if it is not addressed. The good news is that your doctor can help you avoid it.