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Dry Eyes and LASIK

Imagine your eyes feeling parched like a dry, barren desert, yearning for a refreshing, hydrating replenishing drink of water. This is the hallmark of what it feels like to live with the sensation of dry eyes. Now envision that sand whirling up, causing bits of dirt, debris and moistureless air to penetrate the surface of your eyes. With every blink, irritation and discomfort abounds, feeling as if the eyelids may permanently stick together, if only tears would flow like a river stream or cascading waterfall to lubricate the eyes providing relief. 

For some individuals, dry eyes are an occasional nuisance brought on by environmental conditions such as low humidity climates or prolonged time in indoor heating or air conditioning that strips moisture from the air, wearing contact lenses longer than necessary or excessive screen time. For others, dry eyes can cause more than irritation and disruption, bothersome symptoms can decrease quality of life. If left untreated, severe dry eyes may lead to eye inflammation, corneal surface abrasion, corneal ulcers and vision loss.  

LASIK surgery has emerged as a popular and effective solution for individuals seeking to reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses. However, like any surgical procedure, LASIK comes with potential risks and considerations that patients should carefully weigh before making a decision. One significant factor that can impact candidacy for LASIK is the presence of dry eyes. Dry eye syndrome is a common ocular condition characterized by insufficient tear production or poor tear quality, leading to symptoms such as a stinging or burning sensation in the eyes, sensitivity to light, redness, a feeling that something is in the eyes, watery eyes or significant dryness in the eyes. While many individuals with mild to moderate dry eyes can still undergo LASIK successfully, severe or uncontrolled dry eyes may pose challenges to the viability of the procedure. LASIK contributes to tear film instability. The tear film is a thin layer of moisture that covers the surface of the eyes providing lubrication, nourishment and protection against irritants and infections. A stable and healthy tear film is essential for maintaining clear vision and ocular comfort. Dry eyes can increase the risk of complications during LASIK, exacerbate symptoms and impact the long-term results of visual acuity. 

If you have dry eyes prior to surgery, it is important to take a proactive approach to improve your likelihood of LASIK success. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an experienced ophthalmologist to evaluate the severity of dry eye symptoms to assess not only your suitability for undergoing the procedure but what can be done to treat and alleviate your symptoms. These pre-operative management options may include prescription eye drops, dietary supplements, light therapy, lifestyle modifications and environmental interventions. If strategic options are unsuccessful and a patient is precluded from LASIK, alternative vision correction methods such as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), implantable collamer lenses (ICL) or refractive lens exchange (RLE) may be considered. 

Frustration from dry eyes does not have to play a major role in your life. Solutions are available with a comprehensive eye exam at Victoria Eye Center. Call 800-833-0234 for your appointment today or schedule conveniently online at WEBSITE