Dry eyes is when the tear ducts do not create enough lubrication in the eye and therefore, a eye dryness occurs. This can be treated with products like “artificial tears”. In many situations it will be suggested that you orally take vitamin enhancements like fish oil or flaxseed oil. Over time, these products can often help create better lubrication to the eye.
Dry eyes may be caused from a variety of things both medical and environmental. It could be from working in arid areas, or air conditioning on a regular basis where moisture is taken out of the atmosphere. Eye drops or even medical procedures are often suggested for chronic cases.
If you have any symptoms of dry eyes or eye infections, your Lasik consultant should conduct a Schirmer test. This is when a very think piece of paper is placed on the bottom of the eyelid to collect tear production. This can tell the LASIK consultant very quickly if you have dry eyes.
Dry eyes does not eliminate you as a LASIK surgery candidate. There may be things you can do prior to the LASIK surgery and post LASIK surgery to help. Your patient counselor will help here. Also, depending upon the severity of your dry eyes, a different type fo LASIK may even be suggested. For example, PRK and even Smile are often suggested since they are less intrusive on the Cornea.
If you have LASIK surgery and subsequently have dry eyes, the symptoms and the need to take drops could last as long as 6-12 months. This is not the norm but on occasion, it does occur. The reason is, some nerves in the cornea are cut when the LASIK flap is made, and it takes time for them to heal.