How To Treat Dry Eyes After LASIK Eye Surgery
It’s normal to wonder about the symptoms you may experience after LASIK eye surgery, such as dry eyes. Not every patient experiences symptoms after their procedure. But for those that do, the symptoms are usually mild and short-term. One of the benefits of LASIK is that it offers a quick recovery. Most patients are back to their normal routines within 24-hours, and many don’t need to take time off from work and/or school.
One of the most common symptoms after LASIK is dry eye. If you have dry eyes, you may experience the following:
- Watery eyes
- Eye fatigue
- Eye redness
- Blurred vision
- Scratchy sensation
- Stinging or burning
- Trouble with nighttime driving
- Feeling like something is in your eye
It’s normal to have dry eyes following LASIK. According to WebMD, as many as 95% patients have dry eye immediately after a vision correction procedure. But you should begin to see significant improvement in the weeks following your LASIK surgery. The farther out you are from your LASIK procedure, the fewer signs of dry eye you can expect.
Ways To Manage Dry Eyes After LASIK
Although dry eye after LASIK may be common, it’s also manageable. There’s no reason for dry eyes to interfere with your daily life after undergoing LASIK. Here are some of the ways you can treat dry eye after vision correction surgery.
Lubricating eye drops
After your LASIK surgery, you’ll be given lubricating eye drops to help your eyes heal and treat symptoms, like dry eyes. Make sure to follow the instructions for when and how to administer the drops. Keeping your eyes well lubricated with the drops will mitigate the signs of dry eye.
You’ll be able to use over the counter eyedrops (also called artificial tears) for as long as you need after your LASIK surgery. Our team will provide you with all the information necessary once you’ve completed your procedure.
Reduce screen time
You’ll be given an activity schedule post-LASIK that explains when you can resume everyday activities. You’ll be able to do most daily activities within only a day of the procedure, such as using digital screens.
Even though you’ll be okay to use screens, it’s best temporarily reduce your exposure while your eyes heal, at least for a few days post-LASIK. This will reduce the risk of dry eye and mitigate any symptoms you may be experiencing. Moving forward, take regular breaks from digital devices and use lubricating eye drops if they increase any dry eye symptoms.
Use a warm compress
Another quick way to find relief from dry eyes is to use a warm compress, like a washcloth. Place the compress over your eyes and relax. This will help moisten the eyes and alleviate discomfort.
Though your eyes may feel irritated from the dryness, don’t rub them. Touching your eyes must be avoided when recovering from LASIK. A warm compress is a safe alternative.
There are small things you can do in your everyday routine to minimize the effects of dry eye. For example, make sure to stay properly hydrated, especially if you’re in a hot or humid environment.
If you believe dry air is contributing to your eye dryness, consider investing in a humidifier. However, don’t let air blow directly in your eyes when healing from LASIK.
Additionally, make sure you’re wearing proper eye protection when going outside post-LASIK. Look for well-fitted sunglasses with proper sun protection. Not only will this protect your eyes from UV damage, but it will stop debris from getting in your eyes that can interfere with tear production.
Finally, another solution to post-LASIK dry eye are comfort plugs. These are tiny plugs inserted into the tear ducts to increase the level of tear film and reduce dry eye symptoms.
It’s possible to use temporary plugs, which will evaporate within a few months of insertion. In more severe cases (especially if you dealt with dry eyes pre-LASIK), you may be recommended to try silicone comfort plugs. These will not go away on their own, but they can be removed at any time by an optometrist. However, it’s not common for a patient to require comfort plugs following LASIK eye surgery. Though this is an effective way to treat eye dryness, it’s not usually necessary after a vision correction procedure.
Eye dryness after LASIK is usually nothing to be concerned about. It’s often a normal symptom as your eyes heal. You should begin to see improvement in the weeks following your surgery. There are also plenty of ways to prevent and manage the symptoms of dry eye, so you won’t have to deal with discomfort following LASIK.
In the rare instance that your eye dryness increases following LASIK or you have any others concerns, we will ensure you have our clinic number on hand so you can call us directly. At LASIK MD, the post-surgery care of our patients is of the utmost importance to us, and we’ll ensure all your symptoms are monitored following your LASIK procedure.
Freedom from glasses and contacts is life-changing. If you’re ready to experience the benefits of LASIK, book a free consultation. We’ll perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine what procedure is right for you and will discuss all your options. Book a free consult with LASIK MD today.