What Is the Best Way to Treat Dryness After LASIK?

By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on May 13, 2019

A woman using eye dropsMillions of people around the world have benefited from LASIK, a laser eye surgery that eliminates your need for glasses and contacts. Dr. Andrew E. Holzman has performed LASIK on numerous patients in the greater Washington, DC area, giving them clearer vision and an improved quality of life.

Dry eye syndrome is a common side effect after undergoing LASIK. Thankfully there are many ways to manage dry eye. Below are some of the best methods to treat and prevent dry eye after LASIK surgery.

Lubricating Eye Drops

After undergoing any kind of eye surgery, its a good idea to carry lubricating eye drops with you at all times. Use these over-the-counter eye drops any time you experience cases of dry eye or discomfort. They can provide much needed relief.

Special Medications for Dry Eye

For some patients, our Washington, DC practice may prescribe medications to prevent dry eye, such as Xiidra® and Restasis®. These can both be helpful for reducing discomfort after LASIK. Be sure to take these medications as directed, and to never exceed the recommended dosage.

Avoiding Environmental Factors

Certain conditions in the environment can trigger dry eye or make dry eye attacks worse. We recommended avoiding places or environments that may increase the severity of dry eye, which includes arid places, dusty areas, and smoky places. When outdoors, consider wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from potential causes of dry eye as well as harmful UV rays.

Make Your Home or Workspace Less Conducive to Dry Eye

Sometimes you may be exposing yourself to things that can trigger worse dry eye without even realizing it. If you have fans or air vents that blow in your face at home or at work, this may be causing dry eye attacks. Try to avoid airflow directly to the face. You may also want to consider a humidifier if your home or workspace is dry.

Be Mindful of Your Blink Rate While Looking at Screens

We look at screens all day, whether it’s a phone, a tablet, a laptop, or a television. Frequent staring at screens can throw off our blink rate. The less we blink, the drier our eyes become, and the more likely we are to have dry eye attacks.

We recommend a 20-20-20 rule for screen use. That means every 20 minutes, look away from the screen for 20 seconds at a spot roughly 20 feet away. This helps reset your blink rate and can prevent dry eye as well as eye strain.

Professional Care for Severe Dry Eye After LASIK

If the above suggestions do not help address your post-op dry eye, we can place punctal plugs to help treat this severe dry eye. Punctal plugs help prevent early drainage of of tears from your eyes, and can help ensure better relief from lubricating eye drops and dry eye medications.

How We Help Minimize Post-Op Dry Eye During Surgery

We should note that dry eye after LASIK is not as severe today as it once was. This is because we focus on good patient pre-op care and make extremely thin corneal flaps during the LASIK procedure itself. Pre-planning and good surgical technique means better post-op experiences for LASIK patients.

Learn More About LASIK

For more information about the side effects of LASIK and how you can manage and minimize them after surgery, be sure to contact a skilled board-certified laser eye surgeon. You can reach our Washington, DC office by phone at (703) 556-9155.

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