Question: I am booked in to have LASIK next week (prescription -3.5 and -2.75). However, during my consultation I was told that I currently have dry eyes (although I don't feel as if they are dry, except when wearing contact lenses), and I will likely need to take drops for up to six months after the procedure. I am concerned that the dry eye will be severe and continue for longer than six months. The other consultations did not mention that my eyes are currently dry. Is it ok to have LASIK if eyes are already dry?
Answer: There is some threshold of adequate tear film quality and quantity necessary to have successful and comfortable LASIK. If you have been wearing contact lenses comfortably for the most part, then it is not likely that your eyes are too dry, but perhaps are borderline dry eyes. In fact, some of this dryness may actually be due to the wearing of contact lenses. Contact lenses do alter the ocular surface and can cause dry eye problems by themselves. Now, it common and expected for many "normal" people to have dry eye symptoms after LASIK. If you have a borderline dry eye, it is probable that you will experience dry eye complaints after LASIK. If your tear film was terribly inadequate, your LASIK Surgeon would have either not recommended LASIK or prescribed some pretreatment, with either artificial tear drops, punctal plugs and/or Restasis eye drops, in or to "tune up" your tears. It is entirely possible that after your LASIK treatment you will require one or more of these to help with dry eyes. It is very important that you follow the specific instructions and recommendations of your LASIK Surgeon, who will be monitoring your healing and helping you to achieve a comfortable recovery with the best possible results.
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