Does Eye Dryness After LASIK Affect Vision?

Chicago, IL  (  In LASIK trials conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it was found that as many as 50 percent of LASIK recipients experience an increase in eye dryness during the LASIK recovery period. In most cases, this is a temporary discomfort that can easily be controlled with the use of artificial tears. According to these FDA trials, 20 percent of patients continued to experience dry eyes after six months. In these instances, punctual plugs and medications may be required in addition to artificial tears.

However, nearly all instances of dry eyes diminish within one year of LASIK surgery. The vast majority of LASIK complications are temporary and will resolve on their own given enough time.

Vision and Dry Eyes after LASIK

When you experience dry eyes after LASIK, your vision may be intermittently blurry. This is one of the advantages of artificial tear drops, as they will keep your eyes lubricated, and assist in providing clear vision.

Dry, irritated, scratchy eyes are actually a common reason people seek LASIK treatment. People who suffer from chronic dry eyes may not be able to comfortably wear contact lenses, making LASIK an ideal alternative. If your dry eyes are severe, your doctor may suggest that you are not an ideal candidate for LASIK, since this procedure has the potential to aggravate dry eye syndrome for a short period of time. However, many patients have found the temporary discomfort well worth the final results. This is a decision best made between you and your ophthalmologist.

How Long LASIK Lasts

LASIK works by reshaping your cornea. The new shape of your cornea will be permanent, and can provide you with clear vision for a number of years. However, you will not be immune to the aging process, and as you age, your vision may diminish slightly, requiring the use of reading glasses for seeing objects up close. This is a condition called presbyopia, and it is an unavoidable part of the aging process.

Depending on the age at which you undergo LASIK, you may enjoy clear vision for several years, making the potential, shot-term discomfort caused by dry eyes inconsequential in the long run. Your eye doctor will discuss this complication as well as what you can realistically expect from your LASIK surgery during your initial consultation.

If you live in or around Arlington Heights or Chicago, Illinois and would like to learn more about the risks and benefits of LASIK surgery, please visit the website of Doctors for Visual Freedom for additional information at