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What is post-LASIK “dry eye” and how can I prevent it?

Dryness of the eyes is common both before and after LASIK. A simple, painless five-minute test can determine whether or not a patient will require some form of intervention other than the use of simple tear substitutes after LASIK – but most doctors don’t take the time to perform this important screening test. We perform this test on every patient. If we determine that your eyes are dry (or at risk of becoming dry after LASIK), we will recommend several options to optimize your tear function. Since it is difficult to increase tear production, the best way to improve your tear function is to retain more of the tears that you naturally produce.

The most effective of these options is called punctal occlusion therapy or punctal plugs. These plugs help dryness by partially blocking the outflow of your own natural tears from the eye. Since the tears produced by your body are a much better match for your eyes than any artificial tear you can buy at a store, this technique works extremely well for the vast majority of patients. The longer these plugs stay in place, the more cost-effective they will be for you. Our doctors and staff will help you determine which plug is best for you.