LASIK is one of the safest surgeries in all of medicine, producing among the highest rates of success and patient satisfaction. Especially when performed by experienced, skilled eye surgeons such as those at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd., patients are likely to achieve excellent results without serious or lasting side effects. Nevertheless, as with all surgeries, there are some risks associated with LASIK, and side effects are possible. The most common of these side effects are minor and temporary; however, it is important that patients understand potential risks before they make the decision to undergo this life-changing procedure.
One of the most common side effects of LASIK surgery is the development of dry eye syndrome. At our Chicago LASIK center, dry eye and other risks associated with LASIK are explained in detail during patients’ initial consultations. We do everything we can to minimize these risks, beginning with careful screening of potential candidates for LASIK. If it is determined that LASIK is not the most suitable option in your case, we will advise you of this openly and honestly and recommend an alternative treatment. At our laser eye surgery practice, your safety and satisfaction will never be compromised for any reason.
If you are interested in learning more about LASIK and dry eye, we encourage you to read on and then contact our laser eye surgery center to schedule your initial consultation with our esteemed eye surgeons.
The Cause of Dry Eye after LASIK
Dry eye syndrome occurs in roughly half of all patients that undergo LASIK, with the symptoms usually subsiding after full healing has taken place. In many cases, dry eye is simply an undesirable but inevitable byproduct of the creation of a corneal flap. The advanced Intralase® laser featured at our practice allows our surgeon to create this flap with extraordinary precision compared to the microkeratome blade used in traditional LASIK; even so, dry eye remains a possibility. There is no way to avoid damage to the delicate nerves of the cornea when a flap is created. The damage is minor and does heal; however, during this healing period, it is possible for the nerve impulses that control the production of tears to be disturbed, resulting in dry eye. In most cases, once the uppermost layer of the cornea has healed, the symptoms of dry eye disappear.
It should be noted that dry eye is a risk of all types of laser eye surgery and not only LASIK. Patients who undergo PRK are at more or less equal risk of developing dry eye syndrome. Patients with a history of dry eye may find their condition aggravated by LASIK, while older patients and patients who take certain medications are more likely to develop post-surgical dry eye even if they have no history of the condition.
Patients whose dry eye persists beyond the healing of the corneal flap may require treatment of the condition. Our practice offers a range of dry eye therapies, including LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation, which can be highly effective in the treatment of post-LASIK dry eye.
For further information about LASIK and dry eye, please call or email our eye care practice today.