Spring is upon us and with that comes the many allergies and attacks our vision is likely to struggle to overcome. One of the conditions we tend to struggle with is known as dry eye syndrome. Just about everyone will experience dry eyes at one point in their lifetime. Dry eyes are quite common, and often times it is due to a disturbance in the tear film within a patient’s eyes.
It is also common to experience dry eyes following Lasik surgery, mostly due to the patient’s dry eye conditions before undergoing surgery. For people with extreme dryness before Lasik, we often turn them to PRK treatment. PRK, known as photorefractive keratectomy, refers to treatment without a flap. Most often patients with extreme dryness concerns are recommended this treatment instead of Lasik, but patients must undergo a thorough evaluation to determine their condition.
How does Lasik Cause Dry Eyes?
During Lasik procedures a patient will have a thin flap prepared for them which has the laser energy applied to it in order to shape the cornea and eliminate conditions of astigmatism, farsightedness and nearsightedness. It is expected that during the creation of the flap that the corneal nerves will be temporarily damaged. This means that for a short period of time following Lasik treatment the glands that produce tears will temporarily be disrupted.
Dry Eyes after Lasik is also to have said been quite common in large, metropolitan cities, including Los Angeles. According to a study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, residents of major cities with high levels of air pollution are three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with dry eye syndrome. The effects of deficiency in tear production affects up to four million people over the age of 50 in the United States, all due to the pollutants in the air. This is why it is recommended that patients should acknowledge their Lasik surgeon about dry eye conditions ahead of time to screen for dry eye syndrome before laser vision correction.
Treating Dry Eyes
Patients may be advised to undergo a few strategies in order to relieve dry eyes after Lasik. Some patients have been found to improve conditions after taking flaxseed oil and fish oil orally before Lasik. There other solutions you can refer to including prescription eye drops to lubricate the eyes, punctual plugs which block tear drainage, and anti-inflammatory medications. All must be approved for use by your Lasik surgeon before use.
Dry Eye Prevention
When consulting with your Lasik surgeon, it is best to acknowledge your dry eye issues and concern about developing dry eyes ahead of your Lasik procedure. Studies have shown that taking omega-3 fatty acids or eating foods containing healthy fats, such as salmon helps maintain healthy tear film after your procedure.
Talk to your Lasik surgeon and ask him for the best precaution strategy to keep your eyes hydrated before and after your procedure. Dry eye symptoms are temporary and usually mild, so long as you follow your surgeon’s instructions for after care your road to clear and healthy vision will last you a lifetime of happiness.