Posted on: 02/27/17Lasik Surgery
The benefits of LASIK eye surgery are well known, but there are some side effects that patients should be aware of. One of the most common complaints patients share with their doctors is dry eye syndrome.
What is dry eye syndrome?
Nearly half ( 48%) of all Americans experience dry eyes regularly. Caused by a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye, dry eye syndrome ranges from subtle but constant irritation to significant irritation and even scarring.
How does LASIK perpetuate dry eye syndrome?
Like many things in the body, it is the nerves in the eye that signal the need for tear production. During LASIK eye surgery Dr. Cutarelli creates a corneal flap by cutting through a few nerves in the eye, which can hinder the eye’s ability to recognize the need for tears. Tears provide the eye with valuable protection. Without them, the lid of your eye rubs against the cornea and can scratch it. Scratched corneas may impair your vision. Consequently, you must be more sensitive to the moisture level in your eyes after LASIK. Which is why your surgeon will recommend the use of eye drops in the days after the procedure. Early detection of dry eye syndrome reduces the severity of the symptom. If you suffer from severe dry eye syndrome prior to the procedure, you may be advised to choose another option, such as PRK.
Who is in a high-risk group for dry eye syndrome?
People who fall into the high-risk category usually are:
- older patients, especially women who are post-menopausal
- people taking medications that reduce moisture, such as certain blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, and antidepressants
- communities living in very dry climates
In addition, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston discovered subjects with severe cases of myopia are at greater risk.
Test your eyes for dryness.
If you suffer from dry eyes, that does not mean you are not a candidate for LASIK eye surgery. The one symptom does not necessarily raise your overall risk. There are tests that we can perform to determine the severity of your condition and assess your tear production. So be sure to talk to Dr. Cutarelli during your LASIK consultation to address any of your concerns.
Prevent dry eye syndrome after eye surgery.
The best prevention is to be forthcoming with Dr. Cutarelli and follow the after-care instructions. Be sure to discuss any irritations or changes in your tear production. Surprisingly, even excess tearing is a symptom of dry eye syndrome.
For more information, read through our blogs or contact Cutarelli Vision today! We are here to help you.