What can I do if I still get dry eyes more than 1 year after LASIK?
Dry eyes following Lasik is very common. Unfortunately, a small group of patients do experience persistent dry eyes after an extended period of recovery following Lasik.
If you are in that unfortunate group, there are fortunately many options available to you in the current time.
These range from:
- New sophisticated lubricating eye drops to
- Secretagogue eyedrops (which stimulate the endogenous production of tears / mucin from goblet cells) including Diquasfosol 3%, and
- Anti-inflammatory eyedrops which increase tear secretion by immuno-modulation effects on the lacrimal gland - these include topical steroids and Cyclosporin A.
There are also options to minimise the need for frequent eye drops, including punctal occlusion. You should speak to your ophthalmologist for a bespoke solution to your concerns of persistent dry eyes after Lasik surgery.
Dear Anonymous, dry eye indeed is a potential side effect of LASIK and to a lesser degree in PRK and ReLEx SMILE. Before a conclusion can be made that the dry eye is indeed due to LASIK, it is important for your surgeon to assess your eyes for other treatable causes of dry syndrome.
These may include inflammatory diseases of the tear gland, eye lids and ocular surface. Many of these conditions can be treated hence the benefit of identifying them.
In the case of post-LASIK dry eyes, the condition may be improved with the use of lubricating eyedrops, ointments and anti-inflammatory medications.
Occasionally, tiny plugs may be used to slow the drainage of tears from the eyes. It is vitally important to work closely with a trusted surgeon to identify the causes and hence find the right treatment for your dry eye.
Dr David Chan
Generally post-LASIK dry eyes are transient. If your dry eyes persist much longer than expected, you may want to have them properly assessed.
Most commonly, extended screen time (computer /iPads /iPhone) is the cause. Try resting your eyes every 20 min for 20 sec (by gently shutting your eyes) to maintain 20/20 vision. That is called the 20/20 rule :-)
Dehydration can exacerbate dry eyes, as can suboptimal diet. Supplements with good quality omega 3 fatty acids, usually in capsule form generally can help significantly. And don't have the fan / air conditioner right in your face as they will evaporate your natural tear film, which your eyes need.
If these simple measures still fall short, some specialty, prescription eye drops will usually help.
Dear Anonymous, there are multiple treatments for dry eyes, such as:
2. Eye sprays
3. Eye vitamins
4, Punctal plugs
5. IPL laser therapy
Read more about dry eye treatments at https://www.doctorxdentist.com/5-easy-ways-to-eliminate-dry-eyes-as-told-by-an-eye-specialist
If any of these treatments are an option you would consider, do visit an eye doctor for full evaluation and more detailed advice. I do definitely recommend that you get checked for any reversible or treatable cause of your dry eyes.
At the same time, it will also be useful to alter any exacerbating factors such as prolonged hours of screen time, inadequate eye rest and dry eye-inducing environment.
I hope this was useful to you.
Dr Claudine Pang
If you are experiencing dry eyes, you can consider the following options:
1. Using oil-based lubrication eye drops like Cationorm
2. Taking oral supplements with Omega-3 fatty acids
3. Usage of lacrimal puncta plugs
4. Application of nightly ciclosporin eyedrops
Do note that these needs to be prescribed by an eye doctor.
In my opinion, you should undergo an eye doctor examination to find out the underlying cause for your dry eyes. There are a few exacerbating factors that can lead to dry eyes such as prolonged computer hours, and the condition may not be necessarily due to the LASIK.
I hope that this is helpful to you!
Dr Tony Ho