Can You Get LASIK With Dry Eye?

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LASIK has become a popular procedure as technology advances and makes surgery easier. For anyone who dreams of seeing without glasses or contacts, LASIK is your answer!

But if you have chronic dry eye, you may be worried about having LASIK. Is there a way to have LASIK even if you have Dry Eye Syndrome? Usually, yes. Keep reading to learn why!


As part of your LASIK consultation, your tear production will be measured. Your doctor tests the quantity and quality of your tears. They will also check how well your tears spread over the eye, and how long they stay on the eye.

This will help your doctor determine how severe your dry eye is and if there may be an internal cause. If your dry eye is from another eye condition or medical issue, you may not qualify for LASIK.

But frequently dry eye develops because of external factors that are fixable. If these external factors are eliminated, LASIK becomes easier!

Risk Management

To manage your dry eye in preparation for LASIK there are several things that your doctor can ask you to do. The big one is to stop wearing contacts. It sounds unbearable, but you have to stop wearing contacts before LASIK.

This helps your eye doctor determine if your dry eye is due to your contacts. If they are, it’s likely you won’t have too much trouble with dry eye after having LASIK.

But there may be other factors as well, and these are controllable, to some extent. Keeping a humidifier in your home, for example, may keep the air around you from continuing to dry out your eyes. Your doctor also can give you nutritional supplements to improve tear quality.

Omega 3 fatty acid supplements help with tear production. To get more omega 3 fatty acids into your diet, you can eat more fish and flaxseed oil, or take supplements. Staying hydrated and drinking a good amount of water every day can also help your body produce tears.

Your doctor may also give you lubricating eye drops to use before and after the procedure. This can help relieve any remaining symptoms.

Punctal Plugs

If nothing else relieves your dry eye, there’s a surgical procedure your doctor may recommend. Punctal plugs can help when patients don’t respond to nutritional and environmental changes. Your doctor can put punctal plugs in, which partially block your tear ducts.

This forces your tears to stay in your eye longer, making up for any lacking quality in your tears. The surgery is very minor and is usually a last resort.

After getting punctal plugs, you can still get LASIK. Punctal plugs allow you to worry less about your eyes drying out after the procedure. After LASIK, you may still experience dry eye symptoms, but they will be less severe. Dry eye is one of the most common side effects that patients have after undergoing LASIK.

Considering LASIK? Want to get evaluated? Contact New England Eye Center today to request an appointment or LASIK consultation at one of our locations in Boston, Wellesley, or Cambridge!

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