In our Detroit LASIK Surgery practice, one of the most common questions asked is whether having dry eyes eliminates the possibility of LASIK vision correction. The answer is: generally LASIK can be successful even in patients with dry eyes.
At Akler Eye Center, we perform a comprehensive LASIK evaluation that includes obtaining detailed information about dryness in the eyes, eye allergies, and contact lens intolerance. During the examination, a test called a Schirmer tear film test is performed to assess the amount of tears being produced. The cornea (clear window on the front of the eye on which LASIK is performed) is carefully examined for dry spots and the tear film is assessed.
Once the evaluation is complete, I will review all of the findings with you to determine which procedure is best suited to your eyes based on the examination. Generally speaking, if the dryness is mild to moderate, LASIK can usually be done.
Although worsening of dryness is a common side effect of LASIK, it is usually temporary, and patients are often more comfortable afterwards than they were in their contact lenses. If the dryness is more severe, sometimes treatments are recommended preoperatively to improve the tear film and corneal surface.
These can include punctual plugs (tiny plugs placed in the part of the eyelid that drains the tears from the eye) or Restasis, a prescription eye drop that increases the tear production. If the dryness is unresponsive to treatments, patients may opt to have a surface treatment (PRK) instead of LASIK. PRK is a safe alternative to LASIK which is associated with less long-term dryness than LASIK.
I have been performing LASIK since 1999, and I never tire of seeing all the happy faces at the 1 day postoperative appointments. It is a life-changing procedure, and with all the advances in care is an option even for patients who in the past may have been told they were not candidates.
Enjoy this lovely fall weather before winter sets in. Let’s hope this one is more forgiving than last year! If you suffer from dry eyes, contact our Detroit area laser eye surgery location in Dearborn or Sterling Heights office today for a free consultation.
Michelle E. Akler, MD