Dry eye is a common outcome post-LASIK vision correction surgery. A research concluded that more than 50% patients who’ve had their LASIK suffer from a certain degree of dry eyes with symptoms that can last for weeks, months and even longer; susceptible to vary per each case.
Keeping the problem in perception, most people opting for the surgery already suffer from dry eyes. Take for instance contact lens users who’re uncomfortable with their lenses due to dry eyes might still opt for LASIK only to avoid wearing eyeglasses.
Luckily, LASIK screening technology offer just the appropriate detection, direction and treatment of dry eye. All those aiming for laser vision correction now have the opportunity to solve their pre-existing dry eye issue in case it has been identified in preliminary LASIK consultation.
LASIK Causes Dry Eyes
During the procedure, LASIK cuts through some of the corneal nerves which drops sensitivity to some degree. As a result, you mightn’t even feel the need to lubricate the eyes which eventually produces fewer tears and develops dry eye syndrome.
Dry eyes post-LASIK causes discomfort and less optimal outcome for the vision which is why surgeons now recommend eyedrops for the dry eyes and other such moisture therapies to keep the eyes lubricated. In some cases, a patient might be recommended with increased eye lubrication treatment pre-LASIK to reduce the chances of dry eyes.
Dry Eye Screening
Quality and quantity of the tears you produce factors in the dry eye development which also affect healing post-eye surgery. Surgeons have now realised that controlling dry eyes post-LASIK brings the best outcome of the procedure which is why subjects undergo advance screening. Various tests for dry eyes detection are:
- Schirmer Test
A fine thin paper strip is placed beneath the lower eyelid to measure the tear production.
- Tear Breakup Time
A small portion of dye is exposed on the eye surface to monitor tear distribution as they break.
Keratometers or other equipment provide a detailed tear film view without actually coming in contact with the eye surface.
- MMP-9 Testing
Doctor would collect a small sample of the patient’s tears from bottom lid’s interior which is then analysed. In minutes, you’ll know the protein level due to which you’re struggling with inflammatory dry eye.
Potential Subjects to Dry Eyes
A Houston based research revealed that highly myopic people are at greater risk of post-LASIK dry eyes as compared to people with the lowest degree of near-sightedness pre-surgery. Additional causes of dry eye syndrome include:
- Ageing, especially in females
- Blood pressure medications, anti-depressants and allergy medications (antihistamines) that reduces the eye moisture
- Autoimmune disease like the Sjogren’s syndrome
- Harsh and unusually dry climate/environment like a room or facility with extreme temperature; hot or cold.
Do remember that being a dry eye patient pre-LASIK automatically remove you from the list of potential candidates. Still, professional doctor or your eye surgeon would decide on the procedure depending on the severity and probability of successful and effective treatment.