Dry Eyes & LASIK Surgery

Treat Dry Eyes Before & After LASIK Surgery

Are you considering LASIK surgery to free yourself from the hassle of glasses or contact lenses? While LASIK offers remarkable vision correction benefits, it’s essential to ensure your eyes are in optimal health before undergoing the procedure. One often overlooked aspect is managing dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or when the quality of your tears is poor. Symptoms can include irritation, burning sensation, redness, and even blurry vision. While these symptoms might seem like a minor inconvenience, they can significantly impact your LASIK surgery experience and outcomes.

Can You Get LASIK if You Already Have Dry Eyes?

Having dry eyes doesn’t automatically rule out LASIK, but it requires careful management and evaluation. Your eye doctor will conduct a thorough pre-operative assessment to determine the severity of your dry eyes. If necessary, they might recommend treatments to improve tear production and quality before considering LASIK.

Sometimes, alternative vision correction procedures like PRK might be suggested, as they may have a lower risk of exacerbating dry eye symptoms. Advances in LASIK technology, such as custom wavefront-guided LASIK, can also help minimize the risk by preserving more corneal nerves responsible for tear production.

A detailed post-operative care plan will be essential to manage dry eyes effectively if you proceed with LASIK. By addressing dry eyes proactively and working closely with your eye doctor, undergoing LASIK successfully is possible even with a history of dry eyes.

Why Should You Treat Dry Eyes Before LASIK?

dry eye testing being performedOptimal Healing and Recovery: LASIK involves reshaping the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye, to correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. During the procedure, the corneal nerves responsible for tear production may be affected, leading to temporary dry eye symptoms post-surgery. If you already experience dry eye, these symptoms can be enhanced, prolonging your recovery time and potentially affecting your vision outcomes. By managing dry eyes before LASIK, you can ensure a smoother healing process and better visual results.

Enhanced Comfort and Satisfaction: Dry eye symptoms can cause discomfort and irritation, which can become worse after LASIK surgery. Addressing dry eye beforehand can help alleviate these symptoms and improve your overall comfort during and after LASIK. By ensuring your eyes are well-hydrated and healthy, you’re more likely to have a positive experience and be satisfied with the results.

Reduced Risk of Complications: Individuals with pre-existing dry eye may have a higher risk of developing certain complications following LASIK, such as corneal flap complications, delayed epithelial healing, or persistent dryness post-surgery. Managing dry eye before undergoing LASIK can help minimize these risks and optimize the safety and success of the procedure. At Sherwood Park Eye Centre we can assess the severity of your dry eye and recommend appropriate treatments to prepare your eyes for surgery.

Before embarking on your LASIK journey, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with our optometrists. They will evaluate your eye health, including any signs of dry eye syndrome, and recommend personalized treatments to ensure your eyes are in the best possible condition for LASIK surgery.

Remember, prioritizing your eye health before LASIK can lead to better outcomes and a more satisfying vision correction experience. Don’t overlook the importance of managing dry eye – it could make all the difference in achieving the clear, comfortable vision you desire post-surgery.

Can You Treat Dry Eyes After LASIK?

Dry eyes are a common side effect after LASIK surgery. This occurs because the procedure can temporarily disrupt the nerves responsible for tear production. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments available to manage and alleviate dry eye symptoms post-LASIK:

  1. Artificial Tears: Artificial tears, or lubricating eye drops, can provide immediate relief for common dry eye symptoms. These drops can be used frequently throughout the day, but not all drops are made equally. Our Optometrists recommend preservative free eye drops to manage dry eye symptoms.
  2. Omega-3 Supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve the quality of tears and reduce inflammation. Supplements or a diet rich in omega-3s can be beneficial. Our Ocular Hygienists Holly & Lesley have created a great resource on how to find the best Omega 3 Supplement for your dry eyes.
  3. Prescription Eye Drops: For more severe cases, doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory eye drops to reduce inflammation and promote tear production.
  4. Punctal Plugs: These tiny, biocompatible devices are inserted into the tear ducts to prevent tears from draining away too quickly, thereby keeping the eyes moist for longer periods.
  5. Have an At-Home Routine: Taking care of dry eyes is more than purchasing the right products. Creating an effective at-home routine for how you care for your eyes will make the most out of your time and energy spent to achieve that relief of dry eye symptoms.
  6. Advanced Dry Eye Treatments with IPL & RF: Our Ocular Hygienists are experts in providing dry eye treatments through Radio-Frequency and Intense Pulsed Light in office. These treatments provide relief while reducing the need for at-home care like eye drops and eye masks. Our team has had amazing success in bringing dry eye relief to even the most severe cases of dry eye disease. Discover more about these ground-breaking treatments and schedule a visit or phone call with Holly or Lesley today!

Regular follow-ups with your eye doctor are crucial to monitor the condition and adjust treatment as necessary. In most cases, dry eyes improve within a few months after LASIK.

What Are the Best Eye Drops for Dry Eyes After LASIK?

Choosing the right eye drops can significantly impact your comfort and recovery after LASIK. Here are some of the best options available:

  1. Preservative-Free Artificial Tears: These drops are ideal for frequent use as they do not contain preservatives that can irritate the eyes. Our patients see success and relief with Thealoz Duo, and I-Med’s I-Drop Pur.
  2. Gel Drops: For longer-lasting relief, especially overnight, gel drops like I-Med’s I-Drop Pur Gel are one of the best options for more severe dry eye symptoms. They provide a thicker, more viscous layer of moisture for your eyes.
  3. Prescription Drops: If over-the-counter options are insufficient, your doctor might prescribe drops like Restasis (cyclosporine) or Xiidra (lifitegrast) to increase tear production and reduce inflammation.
  4. Hydrating Sprays: Some people find relief with hydrating sprays that can be applied to closed eyelids, such as Zaspray. These help to maintain moisture and reduce bacterial load on the eyelids.

All of these products are available in office and on our online store.

Learn More About Treating Dry Eyes

To learn more about what the best method for dry eye relief is for you, schedule an appointment for an eye exam online or schedule a complimentary phone consultation with one of our Ocular Hygienists.


Written by our Clinic Coordinator, Erica

Erica Mack, Clinic Coordinator