Dry Eye and LASIK Surgery

10 Feb

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a type of refractive surgery for correcting myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. LASIK is performed by ophthalmologists using a laser.

(Following LASIK surgery), patients are usually given a course of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops. Patients are told to sleep much more and are also given a darkened pair of shields to protect their eyes from bright lights, and protective goggles to prevent rubbing of the eyes when asleep and to reduce dry eye. They also are required to moisturize the eyes with preservative-free tears and follow directions for prescription drops.

The most common complication from refractive surgery is “dry eye.” According to an American Journal of Ophthalmology study (March, 2006), the incidence rate of dry eye from LASIK after the six month post-operative healing period was 36.36%. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) website states that dry eye may be permanent.

The high incidence of dry eye necessitates a proper preoperative and post operative evaluation and treatment. There are a number of treatments for dry eyes including artificial tears, (a pure water eye moisturizing mist) and punctal occlusion.

Dry eye, if left untreated, can compromise the visual outcome and result in regression of the effect of LASIK (and), in severe cases, result in chronic dry eye where permanent (discomfort) and visual impairment (are possible outcomes).

(Courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.com/lasik, with much gratitude)

(Parentheses indicate that the words were not in the original Wikipedia article. Also, we only used selected, relevant portions of the Wikipedia article.)

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