Los Angeles can have some extreme temperature fluctuations which may cause some people to develop irritated and dry eyes. Some patients tell their LASIK surgeons that they are experiencing dry eyes even more so after their LASIK surgery. As a matter of fact, studies reveal that about half of the people who undergo LASIK, have some level of dry eyes after the procedure. These symptoms can continue for weeks, months, or even longer.
Although LASIK potentially can cause a bit of dry eye, sometimes LASIK can help dry eyes which can occur from wearing contact lenses. The best lasik surgeons in Los Angeles may suggest that contact lens wearers who are finding their lenses too uncomfortable to wear anymore because of their dry eyes, may want to consider LASIK as a way to increase comfort.
The good news is that LASIK surgeons in Los Angeles, provide screening for LASIK that helps to detect and treat dry eyes. For a majority of people who want to get laser eye surgery, they now may help their pre-existing dry eye issues when it is brought up during their LASIK consultation.
Why Do Some People Get Dry Eyes With LASIK?
A LASIK procedure involves some nerves in the cornea to be cut, which lowers corneal sensitivity to some respect. Your eye may react by thinking it doesn’t need lubrication, which results in your body producing fewer tears, and this leads to dry eye syndrome.
As a provision, you should start treatments to increase eye lubricants before your LASIK procedure even if you don’t have the symptoms of dry eye.
In some patients, where dry eyes are very severe, Los Angeles LASIK surgeons may recommend corrective vision procedures that do not require creating a thin flap on the eye’s surface, for example, PRK may be a better solution than LASIK in these circumstances.
How Do LASIK Patients Get Dry Eye Screening?
Both the characteristics and the abundance of tears you generate are determinants in the development of dry eyes, which in addition to can affect healing after eye surgery.
Since eye surgeons are more aware that the optimal LASIK outcomes might rely on controlling dry eyes, the patient will most likely have to go through a screening before the procedure.
Below are various tests for detecting dry eyes:
MMP-9 Testing – This is a painless test that your doctor will perform by collecting a small sample of your tears from the inside of the bottom lid. After a few minutes, the doctor can determine whether or not you have high levels of a protein that can cause some conflict with an inflammatory dry eye after LASIK surgery.
Imaging – Your LASIK surgeon can use Keratometers or other instruments that give an insight into the tear film without touching the eye’s surface.
Schirmer test – An ophthalmologist will place a thin strip of paper under the patient’s lower eyelid to measure tear production.
Tear breakup time – Your doctor will place a small quantity of dye on the eye’s surface to see how your tears distribute and when they begin to “break up” on the eye’s surface.
While your LASIK specialist examines you as a possible candidate for the LASIK procedure, your eye surgeon might have to assess if you have an underlying condition that is causing dry eyes as well.
Who Is At Higher Risk Of Getting Dry Eyes After LASIK?
A study conducted at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston has proven that those who have high levels of myopia are at a higher risk of dry eyes after LASIK than people with far less severe nearsightedness before surgery.
A few other reasons for dry eye syndrome before or after LASIK are:
- Remarkably dry climates or environments, for instance, a room that is extremely heated or air-conditioned.
- Allergy medications such as antihistamines or specific blood pressure medications and antidepressants that decrease the amount of moisture in the eyes.
- Autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Mature age, specifically in women who have gone through menopause.
On the contrary, if your doctor finds out that you do have dry eyes before your LASIK procedure, he/she will not rule you out as a candidate. However, your eye surgeon will have to measure the seriousness of your eye dryness condition and the best effective treatments you can do before doing the procedure.
How to Treat Dry Eyes Before and After LASIK?
If your doctor has discovered you have a pre-existing dry eye condition, a LASIK surgeon may want to treat you before LASIK, or any other eye procedures, rather than eliminating you as a candidate.
Even if you do not suffer from dry eyes and you have normal tear production, your eye surgeon may still want to treat you for eye dryness before LASIK as a precaution
Your doctor may also recommend flaxseed oil or to take fish oil orally for several weeks prior to your LASIK surgery to improve your eyes’ tear film. Also, your corrective eye surgeon may prescribe eye drops such as Restasis to lower inflammation, which can help your body produce more tears.
There are other common dry eye remedies such as punctal plugs, which can block tear drainage channels to encourage moisture on the eye, and anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids dispensed as eye drops.
How to Prevent Dry Eyes Before LASIK?
When you meet with your LASIK surgeon for your consultation and are aware of your dry eye symptoms, make sure to mention that and any other eye symptoms that could indicate or cause eye dryness to arise. Even tearing too much, may signify you have a dry eye issue.
Research shows that taking omega 3 fatty acid supplements and consuming foods that contain good fats such as salmon or avocado, can help maintain a healthy tear film. Also, drinking lots of water can guarantee that your body and eyes are well hydrated.
If you are considering LASIK corrective surgery and have some concerns about dry eyes, get in touch with Excel Laser Vision Institute at + (818) 907-8606 today. Our professional team of eye surgeons can assess you and may be able to treat you for your dry eye symptoms before and after your LASIK procedure.