Tears are essential for good eye health. They lubricate and clean the eye with each and every blink. Unfortunately, some people develop a condition known as dry eye where they lack sufficient tears or have poor quality tears. This can leave the eyes feeling irritated, gritty, or burning. Left untreated, dry eyes can lead to damage to the surface of the eye and vision problems.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eyes can be a chronic condition and may develop for many reasons including:
- Age– Dry eye becomes more common as you get older. Most patients over 65 have some signs of dry eye.
- Gender– Women are more likely to develop dry eye.
- Medical Conditions– Some medical conditions may contribute to dry eyes. These conditions include thyroid problems and diabetes, among others. Problems with the eyelids may also cause dry eye to develop.
- Environmental Conditions– Smoke, wind, and dry weather can dry the eyes. Many people that work with computers regularly, don’t blink as often; pay attention to your blinking when using electronic devices.
- Contact Lenses– Long term contact lens use can lead to dry eyes.
- LASIK– Some patients develop dry eye after LASIK surgery.
- What Can I Do About Dry Eye?
If you have dry eyes, see your eye doctor and get help. Proper treatment can bring you relief and help you limit damage to the eye and potential vision loss. One of the most common treatments for dry eye is the use of artificial tears. These solutions are applied to the eye as needed to supplement tear production. Your eye doctor can help you find an appropriate tear solution and teach you how to use it properly for treating dry eye.
If artificial tears don’t remedy the problem, you may need more advanced treatments. Your eye doctor can explain your options and help you find the right treatments for your eyes.
LASIK and Dry Eye- What’s the Link?
You may have heard that dry eye is a potential complication following LASIK surgery. This usually peaks in the first few months and improves beginning about 6-12 months after surgery. Dry eye is one of the most common complications after LASIK surgery.
No one wants to experience dry eye after LASIK. At Will Vision & Laser Centers, we find that our patients experience low rates of this condition. We rarely see dry eye after LASIK. Here’s why:
- Advanced Laser Technology– We use some of the newest LASIK technologies available. Newer technology and lots of experience leads to better results for our patients.
- Less Cell Injury and Death– Post-LASIK dry eye is often caused by corneal irritation. Creating a corneal flap disrupts the nerves in the eyes, the same nerves that are responsible for monitoring eye irritation and dryness. These nerves can heal quickly, but dead cells near the flap interface can slow the process. We use the least amount of laser energy possible to minimize cell death. This helps your nerves to heal quickly after LASIK and reduces the likelihood of dry eye.
- Less Disorganization of the Collagen Structure– Bladeless LASIK paired with low levels of laser energy leads to less disorganization of the collagen structure in the eye. This helps you nerves to heal quickly, reducing the occurrence of dry eye.
- Smoother LASIK Surfaces– Smooth flaps and LASIK surfaces are essential. The neuronal growth cone is unable to cross gaps, even very small ones. A smooth LASIK surface reduces gaps and allows for easier and faster nerve regeneration.
Call us today and schedule your Dry Eye Treatment consultation at Will Vision. Our advanced technologies will help you avoid dry eye after LASIK surgery.