Can LASIK help improve natural tear production?
LASIK is a popular refractive surgery that has helped many people improve their vision without glasses or contact lenses. One question that is often asked by potential LASIK candidates is whether the surgery can improve natural tear production. The short answer is no, LASIK cannot improve natural tear production. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why this is the case.
Why LASIK does not improve natural tear production:
While LASIK is an effective way to correct vision, it does not address the underlying causes of dry eye. Dry eye is a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. LASIK can actually make dry eye worse in some cases, as the surgery can damage the nerves that control tear production. This damage can lead to a reduction in tear production, making dry eye symptoms more severe.
Studies have shown that LASIK can cause a temporary decrease in tear production. One study1https://bit.ly/3n42RMT found that tear production decreased in patients who underwent LASIK. While this suggests that LASIK can have a negative impact on tear production, it is important to note that the decrease in tear production is usually temporary. Tear production typically returns to normal within a few months after surgery. However, for individuals who already have dry eye or are at risk for developing dry eye, LASIK may not be the best option.
Alternative treatments for dry eye:
If you suffer from dry eye, there are a number of alternative treatments that may be more appropriate for you than LASIK. One common treatment for dry eye is the use of artificial tears. These eye drops can help lubricate the eyes and reduce dry eye symptoms. There are also prescription eye drops available that can help increase tear production.
In addition to eye drops, there are a number of lifestyle changes that can help improve dry eye symptoms. For example, avoiding environments with low humidity can help reduce dry eye symptoms. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can also help. Eating a healthy diet that includes foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and walnuts, can also help reduce dry eye symptoms.
If you are experiencing dry eyes, LASIK may not be the best option for you. Dry eyes can cause discomfort and affect the quality of vision, making it difficult to determine the exact degree of correction needed. However, other treatments such as PRK, or implantable lenses (ICL’s) may be more suitable for people with dry eyes. To discuss this with a member of our team, book a free virtual consultation.
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Dr. Bennett Chotiner
MEDICAL DIRECTOR, GENERAL OPHTHALMOLOGY, CATARACT & REFRACTIVE SURGERY, LASIK SURGERY
Dr. Bennett Chotiner is the founder and medical director of Memorial Eye Institute. A noted innovator, in 1977 he established his clinical practice, the Pennsylvania Eye Associates. In 1984, he established the Pennsylvania Eye Surgery Center, Pennsylvania’s first …
Dr. Erik A Chotiner
GENERAL OPHTHALMOLOGY, CATARACT & REFRACTIVE SURGERY, LASIK SURGERY
Erik Chotiner, M.D. diagnoses and treats a wide range of medical eye conditions. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. Dr. Chotiner attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia where he received multiple awards including the Physiology Prize for …