LASIK surgery has helped plenty of people all over the world achieve excellent vision, reducing their dependence on prescription glasses and contact lenses. In general, many patients will experience minor side effects after LASIK which should only last for a little while as the vision adjusts to the reshaped cornea. The team at our Boston LASIK surgery office would like to discuss one of these side effects in particular. That side effect that we're talking about is dry eye.
As you probably know, dry eye refers to a condition in which the moisture of the eye is severely diminished. This may be the result of reduced production of tears in the tear ducts or an increase in the rate of evaporation of a person's tears. This can lead to an itchy or burning sensation of the eyes, redness of the eyes, hazy vision, and a certain degree of pain and discomfort. In some cases, it may feel as if there is a persistent particle of dust in the eyes.
Following LASIK, the nerves of the cornea will be temporarily damaged, which may cause some difficulty with the formation of tears. This is normal, and the nerves of the cornea will adjust and heal in the weeks after surgery, leading to the normal production of tears. Your LASIK surgeon will prescribe eye drops to you to keep your eyes moisturized. It is important that you use these eye drops as your surgeon instructs you to in order to reduce the instances and severity of itchiness and discomfort associated with dry eye.
In a small percentage of patients, dry eye after LASIK surgery may become a permanent condition. This should be a big factor to consider when a person is weighing whether or not to get LASIK surgery. If you have issues with dry eye prior to LASIK, you refractive surgeon will likely suggest an alternative to improve your vision given that a certain degree of dry eye is to be expected after laser eye surgery.