Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
Connect with Facebook Connect with Google For Doctors
By creating an account, you are indicating that you have read and accepted the DoctorxDentist Terms of Use.
Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
By creating an account, you are indicating that you have read and accepted the DoctorxDentist Terms of Use.
Registration Progress
Step 1: Indicate Topics of Interests
Step 2: Follow Relevant Doctors
Complete!
What are your interests?
Please select at least 3 interests.
NEXT
NEXT
Registration Progress
Step 1: Indicate Topics of doctors
Step 2: Follow Relevant Doctors
Complete!
Follow your favourite doctors
We found some doctors you may like. Click continue to follow them.
CONTINUE
CONTINUE
Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
Continue with Facebook Continue with Google

or

OOPS!

SOMETHING WENT WRONG.

PLEASE TRY AGAIN.

OOPS! SOMETHING

WENT WRONG.

PLEASE TRY AGAIN.

Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

Continue with Facebook Continue with Google

Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

YOUR QUESTION HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

YOUR QUESTION

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

YOUR ANSWER HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

YOUR ANSWER

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

YOUR QUOTE REQUEST HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL GET BACK TO YOU SHORTLY!

YOUR QUOTE REQUEST

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL GET

BACK TO YOU SHORTLY!

YOUR THREAD HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY CREATED.

HEAD OVER TO FORUM PAGE NOW

TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION

YOUR THREAD

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

CREATED.

HEAD OVER TO THE FORUM PAGE NOW

TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION!

YOUR REVIEW HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR REVIEW

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

THANK YOU.

OOPS!

THERE IS SOMETHING

WRONG WITH YOUR EMAIL.

PLEASE TRY AGAIN.

OOPS! THERE IS

SOMETHING WRONG

WITH YOUR EMAIL.

PLEASE TRY AGAIN.

YOUR EMAIL HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBSCRIBED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR EMAIL

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBSCRIBED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR CONSULTATION HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL

GET BACK TO YOU SHORTLY.

YOUR CONSULTATION

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS

WILL GET

TO YOU

SHORTLY.

MESSAGES TO

Dry Eyes After LASIK: A Singapore Eye Doctor Discusses Solutions

Dry Eyes After LASIK: A Singapore Eye Doctor Discusses Solutions undefined

Sight is a precious sense because we perceive up to 80% of all impressions by means of our sight. Unfortunately, many of us take your eyesight for granted! 83% of young Singaporean adults are myopic. This is why LASIK surgery is so popular in Singapore. 

While LASIK surgery can put an end to your short-sightedness, it also creates new problems such as dry eyes. DoctorxDentist invited Dr Por Yong Ming, an experienced eye surgeon, to share his expert opinions on dry eyes after LASIK through a DoctorxDentist Session

Disconnected nerve endings are the main cause of dry eyes after LASIK 

lasik procedure on an eye

Dr Por explains that during a LASIK operation, a thin superficial layer of the cornea is created and temporarily peeled back to allow laser treatment of the underlying tissue. 

Some of these nerve endings are disconnected during this process, which in turn reduces feedback to your tear glands. This causes your body to produce less tears, which is why your eyes are dry after going through LASIK. 

Other factors include changes in corneal shape

LASIK surgery singapore for myopia

The new shape of your corneal may change the way your eyelid interacts with the surface of your eye. This also affects your blinking and tear production. 

Dry eyes are usually not caused by complications during the actual LASIK surgery

eye surgery singapore

Dr Por confirms that dry eyes that persist after LASIK surgery generally cannot be attributed to complications during the LASIK surgery.  

It's most likely due to pre-existing dry eyes before surgery caused by things such as prolonged contact lens wear, acne medication, and the reasons mentioned above. 

It is extremely rare to get dry eyes that do not recover 

According to Dr Por, the nerve endings that were disturbed during LASIK typically regrow within several months. After that, you will notice that your eyes are no longer dry. 

Most patients experience dry eyes up to 6 months after surgery, and the condition improves out to one year or more.

Punctal plugs are an effective way to keep your eyes moist

punctal plug

Dissolvable punctal plug (Image credit: Review of ophthalmology)

If you have dry eyes (caused by LASIK or not), punctal plugs are great at keeping the moisture in your eyes for a longer time. They also help to reduce the need for eyedrops. 

However, if the dryness of your eyes is related to the lack of tear production, punctal plugs will not be effective. Reason being, there are no tears for the plugs to keep around in the first place.

Choose your punctal plugs wisely

punctal plug non-dissolvable

Non dissolvable punctal plug (Image credit: Review of ophthalmology)

Dr Por recommends that you avoid silicone plugs. Reason being, they tend to collect mucus and debris around them and often fall out by own their own. 

He prefers temporary dissolvable plugs that are inserted into the tear channels, blocking them for a period ranging from about 3-5 months. After which, these plugs disappear by themselves. This minimises the risk of infection. 

Unfortunately, this also means that the dryness may return once they are gone.

Punctal cautery is a more permanent solution

If your eyes become dry again after the plugs dissolve, Dr Por recommends a more permanent solution, which is called ‘punctal cautery’.

This uses a special heated probe to permanently shrink and close off the tear drainage channels. It's usually only offered to people who have used the punctal plugs before and found them to be helpful.

Gel or ointment is more suitable for people with dry eyes during sleep

For people with dry eyes that usually manifest during sleep or first thing when you wake, the better solution would be to use a gel or ointment before going to bed.

Gels such as Vidisic or Genteal gel can be used at night for patients whose dryness is most prominent in the middle of the night or first thing on waking in the morning.

These work better than eyedrops (and will last for the whole night) because of it's thicker consistency. Eyedrops are too watery, so they tend to disappear within an hour or so.

Consider thicker eyedrops if you have naturally drier eyes

eye drops lasik singapore

Dr Por suggests for patients who have drier eyes than usual to use slightly thicker eyedrops such as, Opticlear, Systane Ultra, or Optive Fusion. 

The thicker eyedrops may feel a bit sticky but will last longer on the eye so that the drops don’t have to be used as often.

Best ways to ease dry eyes after LASIK

No pain no gain. After LASIK, your eyes will get temporarily drier, especially during the first few weeks. This is a by-product of the procedure, so there's nothing much you can to do prevent this. 

However, here are some tips from Dr Por that may help to minimise the effects of dryness on the eye after LASIK:

  • Using eyedrops as instructed by your doctor
  • Taking frequent regular breaks (every 20 - 30 minutes) from reading/computer use 
  • Adjusting the air-conditioning in your room so that the air is less cold and less dry
  • Making sure you stay hydrated and get enough sleep

You can still go for LASIK even if you have dry eyes

dry eyes singapore

The good news is, regular dry eyes do not negatively affect the outcome of LASIK. Which means to say, your main considerations is just the same as someone without dry eyes.

However, people with severe dry eyes are not suitable for LASIK

One of the problems associated with dry eyes is the development of punctate corneal epithelial erosions (little dry spots on the cornea).

Dr Por explains that if a large number of these develop in the centre of the cornea, your vision will become blurred. In the worst cases, some amount of scarring can also develop.

If you have severe dry eyes that require very intensive treatment, or where it is associated with an underlying systemic disease, most doctors would advise you against laser refractive surgery.

You can treat dry eyes before LASIK surgery 

dry eyes singapore

Dry eyes treatment is aimed to minimise or eliminate erosions, as well as to minimise eye irritation and feelings of eye dryness/discomfort. 

When there are minimal symptoms, you would be considered for surgery.

Dr Por points out that treatment for dry eyes always starts with frequent artificial tear use. If there's significant inflammation, topical steroids or cyclosporine might be used as well. 

Simultaneously, you'd also be asked to stop wearing contact lenses, to treat any contributing eyelid condition such as blepharitis and to take frequent breaks from computer use.

Never ever rub your eyes, LASIK or not!

lasik dry eyes singapore

Dr Por warns that aggressive eye rubbing can lead to other problems.

To find out more, read his full Q&A on dry eyes and LASIK here


Ever wanted to ask a health question to a specific renowned specialist in Singapore? DoctorxDentist Sessions are when these expert doctors answer all your questions, for free!

You can Ask A Doctor right away, or view the complete list of DoctorxDentist Sessions here

 

445 views 27 Nov 2018 Medically reviewed by Dr Por Yong Ming on 6 May 2019.
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other answers tagged Eye & LASIK or ask your own question now FOR FREE.
Call
Dr Por Yong Ming