The Importance of Eye Drops after LASIK
By Andrew Holzman on May 20, 2012
I recommend the use of eye drops for all of my Virginia LASIK patients. Antibiotic, steroid, and lubricating eye drops greatly reduce a patient's risk of developing complications after LASIK and PRK surgery. During your LASIK vision correction appointment, I will provide you with the medications you will need to successfully recover from your laser vision correction procedure.
Antibiotic Eye Drops
Antibiotic eye drops are prescribed to reduce the patient's chances of acquiring an eye infection after LASIK surgery. Any type of surgery, including LASIK, introduces the risk of infection; during surgical procedures, an incision is made in the bodily tissue, making the inner cavity more vulnerable to bacteria. Surgeons typically recommend the use of antibiotics, either in the pill or topical form, after all types of surgery. For LASIK patients, eye drops will sufficiently deliver the antibiotic solution to the healing corneal tissue.
Steroid Eye Drops
Steroid eye drops are used to reduce inflammation and improve the healing process. Some eye drops contain both the antibiotic and steroid solution. In general, the antibiotic and steroid eye drops should be used a few times a day for about one week after LASIK surgery. I will provide you with specific dosage instructions during your LASIK appointment.
Lubricating Drops for Dry Eye
Lubricating eye drops or artificial tears may be used in the weeks after LASIK surgery to increase patient comfort. These eye drops should be used for at least one week after surgery to promote healing. Depending on the patient, use of lubricating eye drops may be continued for up to six months after surgery to combat dry eye.
Dry eye is a common side effect of LASIK surgery. The LASIK vision correction procedure temporarily reduces nerve sensitivity of the cornea, affecting tear production. About half of LASIK patients report dry eye following surgery; fortunately, for qualified candidates, this side effects disappears after a few months.
Applying Eye Drops
The manner in which you apply eye drops can positively or negatively affect your recovery. Follow these tips to reduce your risk of developing side effects after LASIK:
- Review the application and dosage instructions for your eye drops
- Thoroughly wash your hands with an antibacterial soap
- Open the bottle, taking care not to touch the applicator nozzle
- Apply the appropriate number of drops to each eye; do not allow the applicator nozzle to touch the eye area
- Keep your chin elevated for a couple of minutes to ensure that the solution has penetrated the eyes
- Replace the cap on the eye drop bottle
- If you are using more than one type of eye drop, wait at least five minutes between applications
- If you experience any serious side effects due to LASIK surgery or use of eye drops, contact one of my offices immediately
Contact TLC Laser Eye Centers
To schedule your LASIK evaluation, contact TLC Laser Eye Centers of Tysons Corner, Rockville or Charlottesville. A member of my staff will be happy to schedule your LASIK screening at TLC Laser Eye Centers.