Does LASIK Cause Dry Eye?

LASIK has long been the most popular refractive surgery in the U.S., correcting a variety of common vision problems — and it still is! According to the American Refractive Surgery Council, LASIK enjoys an impressive 96% patient satisfaction rate, the highest of any optical elective procedure out there.

Because LASIK is so popular, there is a lot of information floating around out there, but not all of it is accurate. The in-office procedure is safe and quick, taking 20 minutes or less for both eyes, with the vast majority of patients experiencing 20/20 vision once their eyes have completely healed!

Here at Mann Eye Institute, we are passionate about helping people See Life Better. If that includes LASIK, you won’t find a team of vision experts more dedicated to making sure you have all the information you need and want to feel comfortable and confident in moving forward with LASIK. During your complimentary LASIK consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you want! We love answering questions!

One common concern people have when they meet with us for their LASIK consultation is they’ve heard LASIK causes dry eye. This is such an important topic so we’d like to elaborate a bit. Read on…

Does LASIK Cause Dry Eye?

Some people do experience dry eye symptoms after LASIK. However, the majority of dry eye symptoms following a refractive surgery procedure usually are relatively mild and disappear in time.

To keep the issue of post-LASIK dry eye in perspective, many people who want LASIK already have dry eyes. This means LASIK itself isn’t often the trigger for the dry eye. Studies show nearly half to three-quarters of people reporting dry eye had symptoms before the surgery.

For example, contact lens wearers who find their lenses uncomfortable because of dry eyes may look into LASIK as an alternative because they’re tired of hassling with dry eye.

Testing for LASIK Candidacy – NOT Your Basic Eye Exam!

Screening for LASIK has led to advances in dry eye detection and treatment. Many people wanting laser vision correction now have the chance to actually solve their pre-existing dry eye problem if it is identified and addressed in the LASIK consultation.

We don’t want to brag, but this is where we shine.

There is perhaps nothing more important in the LASIK process than determining if the procedure is even right for you. If you know someone who hasn’t had a good result, the problems typically stem from poor judgment of candidacy.

Here’s what to expect during your Mann Eye FREE LASIK consultation, which is basically a thorough, high-tech eye exam. Below is a list of the different tests and scans you will have at your consultation:

  • Dry eye testing
  • Visual acuity & refractive error
  • Visual field screening
  • Pupil size in low & medium light
  • Ocular pressure
  • General health of the eyes
  • Corneal topography & corneal thickness

Once our team has given your eyes the green light, you’ll learn everything you want to know about LASIK, meet your surgeon and take your next step toward better vision!

Who Is Most at Risk of Dry Eye After LASIK?

Research at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston shows people with a higher degree of myopia (nearsightedness) have a greater risk of experiencing dry eyes after LASIK than people who have milder nearsightedness.

Other risk factors for dry eye include:

  • Advancing age
  • Female (and especially women who have already gone through menopause)
  • Allergy medications (antihistamines), certain blood pressure medications and anti-depressants that can decrease eye moisture.
  • Autoimmune diseases such as diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome.
  • Unusually dry climates or environments, such as a room that is highly heated or air-conditioned.

Again, having dry eyes prior to a LASIK procedure will not automatically eliminate you as a candidate. Your Mann Eye eye surgeon will consider the severity of your condition and the possibility of effective treatment before recommending a procedure.

Treatment of Dry Eyes Before and After LASIK

Did you know we have an Ocular Surface Treatment Center dedicated to helping people with dry eye issues? We have invested in a dry eye clinic with dry eye specialists like Dr. Victoria Chin and Dr. David Tremblay dedicated to helping patients like you See Life Better through customized treatment plans using a variety of modalities. Whether you’re experiencing dry eye before or after LASIK, our experts can identify the root cause and recommend the ideal treatment to help restore your eyes’ tear film and comfort until healing is complete.

Don’t let the fear of dry eye keep you from improved vision and the opportunity for life free from the hassles of glasses and contacts. Remember, many dry eye symptoms following refractive surgery are usually relatively mild and disappear in time.

From start to finish, from initial consultation to post-op care and every moment in between, Mann Eye Institute is here to help you See Life Better. Schedule your free, no-obligation LASIK consult today.

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