One of the most common complications associated with LASIK surgery is dry eyes, a condition which impacts almost 50% of patients following their procedure. For the vast majority of LASIK patients experiencing dry eyes, this condition will gradually subside within about six months of your surgery. However, there is a small percentage of LASIK patients who experience long term dry eye issues that may impact them for many years.
Dr. Chris Walton understands the serious nature of long-term dry eyes after LASIK, and he conducts a thorough screening during your initial consultation to determine whether you suffer from dry eye syndrome or face an increased risk of this condition after LASIK. If he determines you are prone to long-term dry eye issues, Dr. Walton may recommend a LASIK alternative such as PRK.
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Your eyes are constantly producing tears in order to stay lubricated, heal properly, and prevent the development of infections. Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes no longer produce the quantity of tears necessary to promote optimal eye health.
If you are prone to dry eye syndrome, you may have a greater risk of dry eye complications after LASIK. This is due to the fact that a significant portion of the corneal nerves used in tear production are severed during the creation of the corneal flap as part of your LASIK procedure.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Common dry eye symptoms include:
- Scratchy or sandy sensation in the eyes
- Periods of excess tearing followed by extended dry periods where you don't produce enough tears
- Stinging or burning eyes
- Blurry vision
- Stringy discharge from your eyes
- Heavy eyelids
Dry Eyes and LASIK Candidacy
If you experience dry eye syndrome, it doesn't necessarily rule you out as a LASIK candidate. Dr. Walton can pre-treat your eyes with artificial tears, anti-inflammatories, and/or Restasis prior to surgery. Restasis is an eye drop commonly used to increase tear production in patients with dry eye syndrome. These treatments may also be used after your LASIK procedure to limit dry eye issues.
Due to the advanced technology used by Dr. Walton, you can still achieve a very good visual outcome even if you experience dry eye syndrome. Dr. Walton uses the Allegretto Wave laser, one of the most advanced excimer lasers available. He is the only ophthalmologist in Mobile who uses this laser with his LASIK treatments.
To learn more about your LASIK options, please contact Dr. Chris Walton today to schedule your free consultation. We serve patients in Mobile, Alabama, and the nearby Gulf Coast area.