Dry Eyes After LASIK

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LASIK Information

It is not uncommon for patients to experience eye dryness after their LASIK procedure during the first few weeks as part of the corneal healing process. Any patient who has a pre-existing dry eye condition needs be fully evaluated before their procedure. In some cases, patients with pre-existing dry eye conditions may experience worse dry eyes after LASIK treatment.

Possible Dry Eye Symptoms for LASIK Patients Include:

  • A sandy, gritty feeling to the eyes
  • A foreign body sensation - the feeling that something is in your eye
  • A burning sensation
  • A "heavy" feeling to the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Occasionally, pain in the eyes

LASIK Dry Eye Symptoms: Reasons Why

It’s believed that one reason dry eye symptoms occur after LASIK is because the creation of the corneal flap during the procedure disturbs some of the corneal nerves that provide feedback to the tear glands. This causes a decrease in the flow of tears to the eyes. As your eyes heal after LASIK, the corneal nerve endings regenerate, and the tear volume gradually returns to normal and the dry eye symptoms disappear.

Worsening Dry Eye Symptoms

Patients who have mild or moderate dry eyes prior to LASIK surgery may experience dry eye symptoms for several months or longer. These patients may even find their dry eye condition worsens. This is why some individuals with previous history of dry eyes may not be good LASIK surgery candidates.