Is LASIK Associated with Dry Eye?

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Dr. Rothman answers a common questions about LASIK – Is LASIK associated with dry eye?

There is a known association of dry eyes with lacing for the same reason that there’s an association of drives with contact lens use. I first understanding the cause of dry eyes and contact lens wearers it’ll be easy to understand why LASIK has a similar effect in both cases this dryness is almost always temporary and reversible over time. In fact many contact lens patients who decide to have LASIK do so specifically, because of the reduced contact lens comfort and diminishing contact lens wearing time that is usually a direct result of dryness of the eyes caused by the contacts themselves. The reason for this contact lens related dryness is a reduced sensitivity the eye to the normal things that caused hearing like wind dust or dryness in general.

This relative anesthesia of the surface of the eye is normal and expected with both contact lens use and immediately after Lasik, unfortunately this very common effect of contact lens where is often not discussed with patients before. They start wearing their contacts and usually comes as somewhat of a surprise to them. Until they think back to them their first days of wearing contacts in fact most patients who have worn contact lenses, never forget how uncomfortable their first contacts film regardless of whether they were soft hard lenses or even toric lenses even though many contact lens wearers initially feel quite uncomfortable with their contacts. They gradually get used to them over time. This process of getting used to contacts soon allows many patients to actually touch their eyes to remove their contacts without feeling very much.

If any discomfort, the same reduced sensitivity of the eye that allows patients to remove their contacts, in this way also reduces the eyes ability to respond to irritants and other stimuli that normally cost years to be produced. Another important factor to keep in mind is that soft contact lenses consist almost entirely of water and that water contained in the contact lens continuously evaporates through the front surface of the contacts into the environment. This evaporated water is immediately replaced inside the contact lens with water from the tears on the surface of the eye. This is an ongoing cycle that creates contact lens induced dryness or virtually every modern day contact lens we’re with perhaps the sole exception of hard contact lens wearers the good news about LASIK, is that there’s no foreign material or contact lens floating on the surface of the eye to induce a relative anesthesia of the surface of the eye to increased.

Here, projective aberration or and to increase the risk of an eye infection, however there is a similar relative anesthesia on the surface of the eye with LASIK, as seen with contact lens use but this dryness is caused by different factors with LASIK. This dryness effect is thought to be related to several specific factors related to the procedure itself the first factor is believed to be the creation of the flap and a temporary reduction of the sensitivity of the corneal nerves. After the flap has been created, the good news is that with our next generation all laser LASIK, the flap thickness is significantly reduced and so is the effect on the corneal nerves.

Another factor that’s thought to be important is the change in the original curvature of the cornea into an either microscopically flattered or steeper shape that can theoretically change the way that the tears are distributed on the surface of the eye one or both of these factors may be the cause of reduced to your production after lazing a regardless of the cause we always measure the tier function. Before LASIK and offer several preventative measures to reduce the impact of any dryness that may result after Lasik, one important preventative measure that we take to avoid dry eye symptoms after Lasik is the use of punctual plugs on the day of the procedure.

Punctual plugs or tear duct plugs are gently placed into the tier drainage ducts to slow the outflow of tears from the eye these plugs are not placed into the ducts that bring tears into the eye, but rather in the duct that removed tears from the eye this process increases the tier volume and significantly improves eye comfort. There are actually several types of tear duct plugs that we recommend to patients depending on the degree of preoperative dryness, that we measure before your procedure we will customize the type and number of plugs and match the current level of tier production that you have, and the degree of dryness that we expect after the procedure for you we’ll also will suggest various types of artificial tears to increase your eye comfort after your Lasik procedure you.

For more videos, check out “I LOVE My LASIK Procedure!“.