How Common Is Dry Eye after LASIK?

By William Holcomb on June 11, 2016

A woman placing eye drops in her eyes to control dry eye after LASIK surgeryWithout a doubt, LASIK has been one of the safest, most effective surgeries in all of medicine since its inception, and it has become only safer and more effective with the introduction of technologies such as wavefront scanning and the IntraLase® laser system. Nonetheless, LASIK is a surgical procedure, and as with all surgical procedures, there are risks and side effects associated with LASIK. As a reputable, experienced dentist, Dr. William E. Holcomb does whatever he can to minimize these risks, but he also wants his patients to be fully aware of them before they commit to undergoing LASIK.

While custom, blade-free LASIK truly has reduced many of the risks that had been associated with conventional LASIK to an absolute minimum, dry eye remains a relatively common, if mild and temporary, side effect that patients should understand prior to surgery. Dr. Holcomb thoroughly discusses the issue of LASIK and dry eye during consultations at his Cullman, AL eye care center. He helps to minimize the risk of more major cases of dry eye syndrome by meticulously screening patients during consultations. He may recommend alternative procedures such as custom PRK to patients who suffer from chronic dry eye syndrome or other conditions that may make them less well suited to custom LASIK.

Are you a good candidate for custom, blade-free LASIK? We invite you to find out for yourself by scheduling your initial consultation with Dr. Holcomb today.

The Connection between LASIK and Dry Eye

Of all the side effects of LASIK, dry eye remains the most common. However, it is not a foregone conclusion that all patients who undergo LASIK will experience post-operative dry eye. Those patients who are most likely to experience dry include those who:

  • Are severely nearsighted
  • Have chronic dry eye syndrome (in which case, Dr. Holcomb may recommend an alternative procedure)
  • Take certain medications that list dry eye as a side effect
  • Have certain autoimmune diseases (in which case, they may not be good candidates for LASIK)
  • Have gone through menopause

If it appears likely that you will suffer from some degree of dry eye, you may still be permitted to undergo LASIK as long as you understand your risk, and Dr. Holcomb believes that your condition will not be permanent or severe. In most cases, post-LASIK dry eye is mild and temporary. The treatments for post-operative dry eye have also improved greatly in recent years. If treatment is necessary, prescription eye drops such as cyclosporine (better known by their trade name, Restasis®) can be highly effective. Punctal plugs and anti-inflammatory medications can also be used. In some high-risk cases, Dr. Holcomb may even suggest beginning dry eye treatment prior to LASIK surgery, even if you don’t currently suffer the effects of dry eye.

Learn More about LASIK and Dry Eye

If you would like to learn more about LASIK and the risk of dry eye, or you wish to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. William E. Holcomb, please contact Holcomb Laser Center today.

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