Am I at Risk of Developing Dry Eyes After Laser Eye Surgery?

Dry eyes is a common and normal symptom following Laser Eye Surgery. While it can be worrying, particularly if you are not used to the condition, it is generally an easily managed temporary side effect. However, some patients may be at an increased risk of experiencing dry eyes during their recovery.

What Causes Dry Eyes After Laser Eye Surgery?

Dry eye syndrome can present at any time. It can be linked to excessive screen time, changes in hormone levels, and the effects of ageing. The incidence of dry eyes will factor into a patient’s suitability for Laser Eye Surgery; however, it is also a common side effect of the procedure.

The nerves in the eye are responsible for sending information to the lacrimal gland which supplies a continuous lubrication to the eye. During Laser Eye Surgery, these nerves are temporarily affected which, in turn, interrupts the effective lubrication of the eye’s surface.

Thankfully, this disruption is only temporary, usually lasting a few weeks to a few months. Furthermore, there are things you can do to replenish the eye’s moisture during this time. For example, at the London Vision Clinic, you will receive free lubricating eye drops (also called artificial tears) throughout your recovery! Your aftercare appointments will also allow your surgeon to ensure your recovery is going as smoothly as possible.

As we mentioned earlier, dry eyes are a factor in determining a patient’s eligibility for the procedure. Therefore, if there is any reason to believe that you would suffer from this symptom permanently, your surgeon will discuss this risk with you.

This might be the case if you already had a condition that causes dry eyes before Laser Eye Surgery treatment. For example, some autoimmune conditions, such as Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes can affect tear production. This, in turn, can make it difficult for the eye to heal after surgery.

These factors, along with your eye health and prescription, will be considered during your consultation.

Dry eyes after Laser Eye Surgery are generally temporary and manageable. Below are some of the stories of three very different cases:

Marilyn suffered from dry eyes long before she came in for her consultation. While her correction was successful, her dry eyes continued after the procedure. The aftercare, she recalled, was exceptional. Over the years she indicated that we have helped her with continuing treatment and taught her different ways to alleviate her dry eyes.

Pamela called the experience a positive one from start to finish. Following the procedure, she did suffer from dry eyes for a short amount of time but indicated that she was given drops which helped immensely. Being a patient at London Vision Clinic was like being welcomed into a new family. She felt completely at ease. She was listened to, tended to and cared for. Today she has 20-20 vision, and couldn’t be happier.

While Peter was initially concerned about the dry eyes and effects of swelling immediately following his SMILE treatment, he was soon enjoying the benefits of his new and improved vision. Despite having dry eyes and a very high prescription before his Laser Eye Surgery, Peter’s treatment and recovery went smoothly and he hasn’t looked back for a moment!

Dry eyes is a common and realistic concern but fear doesn’t need to deter you from improving your vision. Our comprehensive screening process allows us to accurately determine your suitability for treatment – and we can treat a wider range of prescriptions than many other clinics!

To learn more about your suitability for Laser Eye Surgery, get in touch or Book a Consultation today.