Dry Eyes? Here’s What To Do Before and After Refractive Surgery

Dry eye syndrome is common after laser eye surgery. Just about every patient will deal with it to some degree. For many patients, dry eyes are a minor inconvenience, and the condition goes away quite quickly. For others, dry eyes can last for months. That’s why BoydVision takes every measure to help patients manage dry eyes before and after laser eye surgery in Vancouver. We want our patients to be happy with their eyes! Here’s how we do it. 

Evaluating Dry Eyes prior to Your Laser Eye Surgery Consultation

Prior to your laser eye surgery consultation in Vancouver, we suggest seeing an Optometrist and they will do a bunch of tests to help determine the best course of action for your unique eyes. they will discuss any previous dry eye symptoms you may have, and potentially run a few dry eye tests such as

  • the Schirmer test, to measure tear production,
  • a tear breakup time test, to see how tears are distributed on your eye’s surface, and/or
  • advanced imaging analysis using a keratometer, to view the thickness of your tear film.

It is recommended to start a moisturizing treatment prior to laser surgery and this will help with a better outcome after surgery. At your free consultation, we will discuss and together decide whether Lasik, PRK, or some other procedure is right for you, along with giving you some suggestions to prepare for your operation. 

What Can Cause Dry Eyes?

A lack of tear production causes dry eyes. Tear production is intended to keep the surface of your eyes moist and free from infection. The culprit behind dry eyes is usually lack of tear production or increased tear evaporation.

Your body may not be producing enough tears for a few different reasons. These include age, medical conditions, whether you wear contact lenses, possible tear gland damage, and of course, whether you’ve had laser eye surgery

Your tears may be evaporating too quickly if your environment is excessively dry, you don’t blink often enough (especially when on a computer), and in some cases, eyelid problems⏤perhaps they don’t close all the way when you blink. 

Why Does Laser Eye Surgery Cause Dry Eyes?

Laser eye surgery reshapes your cornea. During this process, some of the nerves on your cornea are cut, reducing the sensitivity of your eyes. As a result, your eyes may not be sending signals that you require tears and lubrication and voilà, dry eyes. 

How to Deal with Dry Eyes – Before Your Laser Eye Surgery

We have a few tips to help you prepare for your laser eye surgery in Vancouver if you have dry eyes! After your free consultation, we’ll have a better understanding of your eyes, and we’ll be able to recommend the best course of action to prepare you for your operation. Some of our suggestions may include:

  • Punctal plugs
  • Artificial tears
  • Anti-inflammatory medications 
  • Changing your diet 
  • Taking fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements

How to Deal with Dry Eyes – After Your Laser Eye Surgery

At BoydVision, we’re committed to providing the best eye treatments possible, and that includes your post-op care. You’ll be provided with artificial tears and possibly a numbing agent to help you manage any discomfort. Keeping your eyes moisturized will be important during your recovery. If you live in a dry environment, you may want to consider a humidifier to prevent your eyes from drying out too quickly. 

For most of our patients, dry eyes and any other eye discomfort passes quickly. However, some patients may have dry eye symptoms for up to a year after their operation. It’s important to discuss any dry eye concerns you may have with our staff during your free laser eye surgery consultation in Vancouver. That way, we can provide you with all the information you need for a happy and healthy recovery.