Will I Have Dry Eye After LASIK?

Lady using eye drops

Are you planning on having LASIK soon? Are you worried about the recovery process after LASIK?

The recovery process is straight forward. One of the most common side effects after LASIK is dry eye. About half of LASIK patients experience dry eye for some time post-surgery.

Once in awhile, symptoms last for weeks, months, or sometimes even longer.

While this is a problem, it is important to keep it in perspective. Many of the people who consider getting LASIK already have dry eyes.

For example, a lot of people who wear contacts find them uncomfortable because of dry eye. They usually research LASIK as an option because they do not like wearing glasses.

Due to LASIK’s popularity, advancements have occurred for treating and detecting dry eye. Many LASIK candidates can now address and solve their dry eye before surgery.

Why Can LASIK Eye Surgery Cause Dry Eye?

LASIK involves changing the cornea in order to improve vision while at the same time, it reduces the cornea’s sensitivity levels.

This makes it more difficult for your eyes to know when to lubricate themselves. This can cause them to make fewer tears, leading to dry eye syndrome.

While getting dry eye after LASIK is uncomfortable, it can impact visual outcomes. To prevent this, surgeons recommend using lubricating eye drops to keep eyes moist.

To prevent dry eye, you may receive treatments to increase lubrication before LASIK. You can get this even if you do not have any symptoms of dry eye.

If your doctor is concerned about dry eye, you may want to consider other procedures like PRK. With PRK, you can avoid the creation of a flap on the cornea. This also reduces the nerves in the cornea that get cut.

How is Dry Eye Screened for In LASIK Patients?

Your doctor will look at the quality and number of tears you produce. These are factors they test in the possible development of dry eye.

Dry eye can impact how your eyes heal from vision correction surgery.

The best outcomes from LASIK come from managing dry eyes. You will go through a screening pre-surgery. Some of the different tests are:

Schirmer Test

A small strip of paper is put under the lower eyelid to measure your tear production.


Instruments, like a Keratometer, take images of the tear film. This doesn’t involve touching the surface of the eye.

Tear Breakup Time

A small amount of dye is placed on the eye’s surface to check how tears get distributed. It also shows when they break apart on the eye’s surface.

MMP-9 Testing

To do this test, your doctor will gather a sample of your tears from the inside of your bottom eyelid. In a few minutes, you will know if you have high levels of a protein that can cause you to have problems with inflammatory dry eye post-LASIK.

Are you ready for the life-changing effects of getting LASIK? Schedule a LASIK consultation at Ginsberg Eye in Naples, FL to find out if you’re a good LASIK candidate now!