Dry Eye after LASIK

October 23, 2011 — by Dr. Zimmer
Tags: Dry Eye Laser Vision Correction Refractive Surgery Lasik

There are many ways to deal with common refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Prescription lenses are the old standby for effective treatment, but there is a great alternative to contact lenses and eyeglasses. That option is Pittsburgh LASIK. The team here at InSightSM LASIK & Refractive Group has helped countless patients through the use of LASIK and other laser vision correction treatments.

About LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK surgery is a laser vision correction procedure that reshapes the cornea. By reshaping the cornea, light will properly focus on the retina within the eye, making you vision sharper and clearer. LASIK is specifically for refractive errors.

How LASIK is Performed

Using custom LASIK technology, the surface of the cornea is precisely mapped. This digital map of the cornea identifies various aberrations of the cornea. The laser for the LASIK surgery is guided by this precise corneal map, addressing the unique imperfections of your cornea.

Dry Eye and LASIK Surgery

While LASIK surgery (and its precursor refractive surgery, Pittsburgh PRK) are both safe and effective, a common side effect after refractive surgery is dry eye. This refers to the lack of moisture on the eye leading to itchiness, irritation, and redness of the eye. Dry eye after LASIK often occurs because the nerves of the cornea are temporarily severed during the surgery. This should only last three months tops, and it can be managed through the use of lubricating eye drops.

What if I have dry eye already?

If you already have dry eye, you may not be a good candidate for LASIK surgery. Dry eye often gets worse following LASIK, which means that people who suffer from dry eye may have the condition exacerbated if they undergo LASIK.

Do I still qualify for LASIK surgery?

That will need to be determined by our LASIK surgeons and ophthalmologists serving Pittsburgh. In some cases, patients with dry eye may still be able to undergo LASIK or PRK. By and large, however, people with dry eye will likely be dissuaded from undergoing LASIK due to the undue discomfort that they may experience during the recovery process.

Are there alternatives to LASIK I can consider?

There are multiple alternatives to LASIK that you can consider if you do not qualify for that particular surgery. For example, the phakic intraocular lens (IOL) (an implantable contact lens) may be a viable option to enhance your vision. An implantable contact lens is just what it sounds like: an artificial lens that helps enhance a patient’s overall vision quality. All of your options can be discussed in greater detail during the consultation process.

Schedule an Appointment with Us Today

To learn more about LASIK and the various alternatives to LASIK that are available, be sure to contact our laser vision correction center serving Pittsburgh today. The entire team here at InSightSM LASIK & Refractive Group looks forward to discussing these issues with you in more detail.