Dry eyes after LASIK

Are you experiencing dry eyes following LASIK surgery?

Do your eyes feel a bit itchy or dry even though your vision has significantly improved post-surgery?

Well, dry eyes are probably the most common post-LASIK surgery complication. Research has shown that approximately 95% of individuals who’ve undergone LASIK surgery experience itchiness and/or dry eyes after the surgery.

However, it is important to note that LASIK surgery is not a direct cause of dry eyes. It isn’t the trigger. People who report experiencing dryness and/or itchiness immediately after the LASIK procedure have usually experienced this condition prior to LASIK as well. Although the dryness or itchiness experienced post LASIK does resolve on its own with time, there are some rare cases where the dryness of the eyes can become chronic or severe.

Risk factors for dry eyes

It is important to note that experiencing long-term dry eyes is extremely rare. However, there are some factors that make you susceptible to experiencing itchiness and dryness of the eyes after LASIK. These include:

  • You had dry eyes prior to LASIK.
  • If you are a female candidate, then you are more prone to getting dry eyes to post LASIK.
  • People of Asian descent have been shown by research to be more susceptible to experiencing itchiness or dryness post LASIK.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You wear contact lenses.
  • Candidates who have dealt with near-sightedness prior to LASIK.
  • Candidates who have had their vision corrected to a significant degree are also prone to itchy eyes and dry eyes post LASIK.

Cause of dry eyes

The cause of experiencing post-LASIK dry eyes is quite unknown to researchers. However, it is speculated that the minor corneal nerve damage that may occur during LASIK may disrupt the communication between the tear glands and cornea which in turn may cause itchiness or dryness of the eyes. Another probable cause for dry eyes post LASIK may be inflammation experienced during LASIK. Other than inflammation, the new shape of one’s cornea also impacts one’s blinking as well as tear production.

Although treatments in the form of artificial tears may work effectively for this condition, if you experience any severe pain or notice that your vision is worsening post LASIK, see a doctor immediately.


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