Many people would agree that LASIK is the best form of vision correction on the market. This is in no small part due to the advances in technology that have made it safe, fast, reliable, and accessible.
But as accessible as LASIK is, it simply is not for everyone. There is a long list of reasons for what makes someone a good LASIK candidate. One very important aspect of eligibility for the surgery is eye health.
You must have healthy eyes before LASIK because you’re prone to infection during recovery. For some patients, the recovery process after LASIK can take several months.
If your eyes are already having problems, they will likely only become worse when you have LASIK.
Dry eye is especially tricky because it is a common disease and does not always have a clear cut solution. But it can be treated, and successful rehabilitation will allow you to proceed with LASIK. Keep reading to find out if having dry eye makes you a bad LASIK candidate!
Why Do We Get Dry Eye?
There is no single definition of why people suffer from dry eye. Sometimes it is the result of a single factor, but more often than, several things come into play.
Some common causes of dry eye include:
- Aging. As we get older, our bodily functions begin to deteriorate, and the eyes are no different.
- Medication side effects. If you are on medication and are experiencing dry eye, ask your primary care doctor about switching.
- Certain diseases. These diseases include rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Screen time. Excessive use of screens causes us to forget to blink. Blinking is necessary for proper lubrication of the eyes.
- Dehydration. Your body needs an ample supply of water to work, especially when creating tears.
- Environmental factors. Wind, dust, dry air, and smoke can irritate and dry out eyes.
- Blocked glands. Oil-producing glands in the eyelids can sometimes become blocked with a waxy substance. This oil coats tears that are produced, protecting them from prematurely evaporating.
Treating Dry Eye
Since dry eye can stem from many sources, it is helpful to treat it in several different ways. If you have symptoms of dry eye, there are things you can do to treat it.
This can include making small lifestyle changes. You can wear sunglasses outside, reduce your screen time, drink water, and buy a humidifier. These are only a few of the many things you can do!
If you need professional treatment, there are a few options. One option is punctal plugs. Punctal plugs are small plugs inserted into your tear ducts.
These plugs help prevent tears from draining. If your oil glands in your eyelids are blocked, gland expression therapy can help. It can safely and painlessly remove the wax.
For most potential LASIK candidates, treating their dry eye and having it under control is enough if you meet other requirements. Need help getting your dry eye under control?
Schedule an appointment at Westlake Eye Specialists in Austin, TX! We can help you with your dry eye and help you with your LASIK journey as well!