Will Dry Eyes Get Better or Worse After LASIK?

Michael Rosenberg
Michael Rosenberg

Specializes in translating complex information into readable, engaging content. Michael@top10us.com

Dry eyes after LASIK

People with vision problems often opt for LASIK surgery. In many cases, it helps improve the vision and reverse any serious vision damage that a person has entailed. However, the surgery can result in complications arising, such as exasperated dry eye symptoms. A numberer of reasons can cause dry eyes after LASIK surgery. Similarly, dry eye LASIK treatment needs to be reviewed as well. Here, the article will consider how dry eye surgery can affect dry eye symptoms, including:

  • What is LASIK?
  • Does LASIK Cause Dry Eyes?
  • Why LASIK Causes Dry Eyes for Some People?
  • How Long Do LASIK-Related Dry Eyes Last?
  • How Can LASIK-Related Dry Eyes Be Prevented?
  • Things to Avoid After LASIK to Reduce Chances of Dry Eyes
  • Risk Factors for Dry Eyes after LASIK
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What is LASIK?

LASIK stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis, a popular treatment option for people suffering from farsightedness or nearsightedness. Similarly, it helps people who have astigmatism. Usually, myopia and hyperopia can cause vision blur and a lifelong dependency on contact lenses if LASIK is not performed. However, in recent years, LASIK has been connected to severe symptoms of dry eyes.

Does LASIK Causes Dry Eyes?

There is no concrete evidence that dry eye from LASIK is caused after the surgery. Many people who report dry eye symptoms’ exasperation after the surgery have DES before the surgery is performed. Additionally, dry eye surgery gets better over time. However, in rare cases, the dry eye procedure may result in chronic dry eye conditions. In such cases, eye redness relief drops may prove very helpful.

Some people have higher chances of getting dry eyes after LASIK than others. Amongst are risk groups are:

  • Females
  • People who are of Asian descent
  • People who regularly wear contacts.
  • Diabetic patients
  • People who suffer from acute nearsightedness before the procedure is performed. 
  • Patients whose vision is corrected to a very high degree due to LASIK.

Why LASIK Causes Dry Eyes for Some People?

There are several reasons why LASIK may be related to dry eyes. However, scientists have not fully determined the exact reason as of yet. Some suggest that dry eye surgery can cause damage to the nerves in your cornea. The cornea is reshaped during the LASIK surgery by removing the tissue present in it. As such, some nerves are cut to improve your vision. However, the broken nerves can reduce the communication between your tear gland and cornea. However, in most patients, this condition gets back to normal very soon.

Similarly, many patients suffer from post-surgical inflammation after LASIK. This inflammation, coupled with the shape change of your eye, may cause difficulties in cornea-eyelid interactions. Both your blinking rate and efficiency may decline, causing seriously dry eyes.

How Long Do LASIK-Related Dry Eyes Last?

In most patients, LASIK-related dry eye symptoms can last for around six months. In extreme cases, they may be prolonged to a complete year. During this time, your optometrist may suggest using eye redness relief drops to reduce the symptoms and help you perform your regular tasks.

How Can LASIK-Related Dry Eyes be Prevented?

You can often take some preventive and remedial measures to protect your eyes from DES following LASIK. Some of the best ways are listed below:

  • Buy over-the-counter eye drops for your DES-related complications following LASIK. These drops moisturize your eyes and reduce the dryness for extended periods. This way, despite having DES, its symptoms will be better managed.
  • Your eye doctor may suggest using specific prescription eye drops as well. These drops usually help your eye glands produce tears and reduce any inflammation in the eye nerves.
  • Collagen Punctal Plugs can increase the natural production of collagen in the skin of your eyelids. This collagen is important to hold the skin in its place and ensure that your eyelids interact with the cornea properly.
  • Staying hydrated is very important. During the first few months after the surgery, increase your water intake and make sure you feel hydrated at all times. Dehydration can be a serious cause of dry eyes.
  • Dietary changes can help manage the condition. You need adequate Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins to help your eyelids and eye glands function properly. Adding healthy dietary options containing these nutrients can help prevent DES.

 Things to Avoid After LASIK to Reduce Chances of Dry Eyes

There are a few things that you must avoid ensuring that your eyes remain protected after LASIK treatment.

  • First, do not use any eye drops that include preservatives. Such preservatives are added to increase the shelf-life of the drops. However, they can cause eye irritation. Similarly, the inflamed nerves may get further damaged by them as well. Try using lubricating eye drops instead. You can also use artificial tears for this purpose.
  • Currently, you have a lot of options available in the market. Many companies have manufactured these drops in different ways that suit different conditions of dry eyes.
  • Similarly, it would help if you avoided shampoo or soaps from entering your eyes. Some soaps have heavy chemical content, which can directly damage your eyes. Others may cause severe irritation.
  • Do not assume directly that the cause of your dry eyes is your LASIK surgery. Instead, take a proper diagnostic test to know the underlying cause. Some people who have Lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, Scleroderma, Rosacea, and Rheumatoid arthritis have an increased chance of developing dry eyes with no connection to their LASIK surgery.

Risk Factors for Dry Eyes after LASIK

Certain groups have high chances of developing dry eyes even after dry eye surgery. First, people who use computer screens or digital products often are exposed to UV light. This light can damage your eyes and swell your nerves. High eye fatigue becomes the underlying factor causing DES after LASIK surgery. Similarly, women who are about to give birth must avoid LASIK surgery. Pregnancy can cause symptom exasperation. Coupled with LASIK, it may cause severe DES. Likewise, avoid using contact lenses if they cause irritation in your eyes.

Fill the form below if you are interested in learning more about Dry Eyes prescription treatment options


LASIK may be related to dry eyes in one way or another. However, what we know for certain are the preventive measures that can help to handle the symptoms.

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