You hated wearing glasses, had trouble putting on makeup and driving and had your fill of contact lenses, so you turned to Lasik surgery and now you’re dealing with dry eye.
If you find yourself wondering if it was worth it, now that you’re looking for relief from dry eye caused by Lasik surgery, you’re not alone.
Why does Lasik surgery cause dry eye? Simply put, Lasik surgery corrects your vision refraction problems such as nearsightedness, or hyperopia or farsightedness or astigmatism which is an inability to focus due to a curved cornea or lens.
The problem is that to every action there is a reaction. With Lasik surgery, this manipulation of the protective layers of your eye fat or lipid, or aqueous or water or mucous, disrupts the tear film and voilà, you have dry eye.
So, what do you do for dry eye caused by Lasik surgery? Most dry eye caused by Lasik surgery tends to go away on its own with a little help from moist heat or Preservative free eye drops. But first think proactively.
For one, ask your ophthalmologist about any steps you can take before your surgery. One study found that by using the Schirmer test strip for dry eye that if a person has less than 20 mm of tears, then they are more likely to develop unrelenting dry eye, than those patients who have a surplus of tears or a larger amount of tears preoperatively.
The Schirmer test is a simple test wherein an orange paper strip is placed directly on the eye. It basically takes seconds and although can cause irritation for a second, there no discomfort. If you fall into the category of potentially longer lasting dry eye, between six to nine months, then ask your ophthalmologist what you can do to better prepare or reconsider the surgery altogether.
If you decide to go ahead with the surgery, then know relief can come in many forms— preservative drops, moist heat , frequent blinking and resting your eyes can help. And in more severe cases tear duct plugs and serum tears drawn from your blood and configured to replicate what your own tears might be recommended.
Moist heat goggles, Tranquileyes, go a long way in providing instant relief. Either blue gel packs, that heat up instantly by a snapping twist, or green beads that are heated in water, are placed into comfortable goggles with moistened pads and can offer relief in a few minutes. Whatever your choice, there is relief from Lasik dry eye.