Dry Eye Syndrome and LASIK
Some individuals suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome, a condition in which the eyes do not naturally produce enough tears to keep the eyes comfortably moisturized. LASIK eye surgery can also provoke temporary dry eye syndrome in some patients after the surgery. As such, if you suffer from dry eye syndrome, your doctor may take some extra precautions before you undergo LASIK eye surgery.
In healthy eyes, tears are produced to keep the eyes comfortable and protected. There are two mechanisms of tear production. The first is a steady, slow release of lubricating tears that keep the eyes comfortable at all times. The second mechanism is the production of larger amounts of tears in response to a foreign body, dryness, or irritating substance. Individuals who suffer from dry eye syndrome suffer because their eyes do not produce an adequate amount of tears. The symptoms of dry eye syndrome are stinging, burning, sensation of scratchiness, itching, excessive mucous around the eyes, and heightened sensitivity to smoke, wind, and cold. Dry eye syndrome can be caused by many different factors, including aging, hormonal changes (e.g. menopause in women), disease, and medications.
Some patients may suffer from dry eye syndrome after undergoing LASIK surgery. The likelihood of experiencing this condition is even more likely if the patient had dry eyes before the surgery. When the corneal flaps are created to give the laser access to the underlying tissue during the procedure, the very fine corneal nerves may be severed. These nerves are what signal the glands in the eyes to produce tears and are very sensitive. The temporary interruption of the nerve signals can result in dry eyes. As the corneal flaps heal, most patients begin to experience normal tear production, and the symptoms of dry eyes diminish. During the healing phase, your doctor will provide you with lubricating and moisturizing eye drops if you experience dry eye syndrome. Most patients recovery quickly from temporary dry eye syndrome that is associated with LASIK eye surgery.
Having dry eye syndrome should not deter your from undergoing LASIK eye surgery, as the condition will not diminish the accuracy or precision of LASIK. If you already suffer from dry eyes, your doctor will work with you to diminish the likelihood of this worsening as a result of LASIK eye surgery. Your doctor may treat your dry eyes prior to the surgery, in order to strengthen and enhance your tear film so that you will experience a more comfortable recovery period. At Horizon Eye Specialists & LASIK Center, a number of tests can be performed to allow the doctor to properly diagnose and treat your condition. By stabilizing dry eye syndrome before the procedure, the likelihood of post-procedural discomfort will be greatly reduced. During the recovery period, your doctor will make sure you have proper moisturizing and lubricating eye drops to alleviate any mild discomfort. Dry eyes is a common eye condition and should not stop you from electing to undergo LASIK eye surgery. The caring doctors at Horizon Eye Specialists & LASIK Center will make sure that your condition is properly addressed before and after the procedure so that you can experience all the benefits of laser eye surgery.