I am scheduled for lasik surgery on 11/18/06. I was curious if having dry eyes before surgery will make the dry eyes a lot worse after surgery. That is my only concern about having it done. I appreciate any info on this!
I totally concur with Ghandi! Make sure if you feel you have any symptoms of dry eye now that you are tested by Schirmer's, TBUT, and have them stain your corneas and look at them under a slit lamp to determine the extent of your dryness now before your surgery. If they are showing any clinical signs or if you are having any symptoms then talk with them about whether or not you should have it at all and if so then possibly pre-treating you with Restasis. There is a lot of research out there saying that all potential dry eye patients prior to lasik should be pre-treated in this way. Just make sure you do lots of research beforehand. That is the best advice I can give. I am now 6 months out and have been miserable until recently I did 4 weeks of a steroid drop and have been on Restasis for a few weeks now. I think I am starting to see more good days. Don't underestimate how uncomfortable and miserable having dry eyes can be.
I can't stress this enough: Yes! And, just to make my point stronger, I don't recall having dry eye before I had Lasik and, my Lasik doc never told me I did. But, I will be 2 years post-op January 19th and, I still have residual dry eye. Mostly first thing in the AM...which still sucks because it is hard to get out of bed to do anything without first dousing my eyes with eye drops. That includes getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. But, before it really started getting better and before it got to the point where I was only really suffering the dry eye occassionally (maybe once a week) throughout the day but mostly over night and first AM, my eyes were really miserable. They get better even now every month. But, 2 years is a really long time and I know my dry eye healing is probably another year or more from being completely done. If it is ever completely done.
Anyway, it is only my opinion but, if you go to your doctor and tell him or her that you suffer from dry eye, whether constant, a few times a day or periodically throughout a week, or month, and he or she gives you the go ahead to do the surgery anyway, you have given your eyes over to a quack. Someone more likely interested in your money than in your eye health. But, as I said, that is only my opinion. Please research it, go get more than one opion about your dry eye condition and, don't jump into this until you are 100% satisfied that you will be ok. I would suggest that you go see your regular eye doc and have him or her run a dry eye test. Tell him or her that you are interested in getting Lasik. They are more likely to be honest with you about your condition because it isn't their pockets that your money for the surgery will be going into.
Ok! Sorry! I am pretty passionate about this. And, my dry eye wasn't/isn't even half as bad as some on this board. So, imagine how passionately they feel about it compared to me!
I have never had dry eyes before, and thanks to some info on this board, I am taking flaxseed oil pills. I don't really have it bad now after 4 weeks, but if you have that problem now, I can only imagine it will get worse. As others have said, get tests done and definately get a second or third opinion before the surgery.
I was diagnosed with dry eyes before my LASIK surgery. On a scale of 1-20 with 20 being perfect moisture to the eyes one eye was 9 and the other was 4. A week after surgery I had punctum plugs put in my lower inner tear ducts. Every person has four tear ducts in each eye. Two on the outer side of the eye where tears come out of and two on the inner part of the eye that drain the eyes. I had a soft, tiny plug put in the lower inner ducts. I still use lubrication drops when I'm working because I look at a computer screen all day and that means I usually don't blink as often as I should. On my days off I can definitely feel the difference and don't need the drops at all. You definitely should get tested to see how dry/moist your eyes are before you decide to have LASIK done. I love the results from my LASIK and would recommend it to everyone who is a good candidate to have it done. It was the best money I have ever spent.
I went for my appointment to make sure everything was ok for Saturday surgery. I questioned the dry eyes. They tested them and decided that I need to get control of this problem before getting surgery. I got a prescriptin for restasis. I was disappointed at first but am glad to know before getting surgery. I am going back in two months to see if I can get the dry eyes under control. I am not sure if they ok it if I will do it. They also want me to take flaxseed supplements. Thank you everyone for your posts. I am glad I went to this appointment educated. Who knows what would have happened!
I am so glad you listened to us and found out about your dry eyes ahead of time! I think you really just missed a bullet there! I hope that in 2 months, when you go back, your dry eye issue is under control and you can have the surgery. Despite my issues, I love not needing glasses. However, my opinion may be different if my dry eye issue was any worse or as bad as some have had it on this board. I had many miserable days but, the despair in some of the posts from the past from other posters was much worse than what I felt during my worst dry eye days.
Take care! Keep in touch and thank you for keeping an open mind and listening to us!
I was put on restasis in November and my eyes were less dry and I was able to get the surgery done on Feb 9th. The dry eye test is just putting strips under your eye and waiting a few minutes and you get the results right away. I had lasik and am back on my restasis now. (they took me off it for two weeks). I really think the restasis is making a big difference. I am not needing the drops as often. Before being on it my eyes started burning a lot and I haven't had that much. I also faithfully put in the artificial tears.
I wanted to weigh in here! My suggestion is for you to have your regular eye doctor do the dry eye test and the reason is that, they have nothing to gain. The Lasik doc has your couple or more thousands of dollars to gain by giving you a false reading if your dry eye test comes back less than great. I was not tested for pre-operative dry eye so, I don't know if I would have passed or failed that test before I had the surgery but, I have suffered from post-operative dry eye for over 2 years now. It is not as bad as it was at first and, I really only have a bad time with it first thing in the AM. I can deal but, it would be so great to not have to put drops in my eyes just to get up in the middle of the night to answer the call of my bladder. Anyway, I sort of believe that the Lasik doctors are in it for the money. That isn't to say that all of them are that way. I believe that there are some out there that work with their patients to make sure that they will have the best outcome and therefore, turn some away due to the potential for dry eye or other post-operative issues that are above and beyond what can be put up with.
Don't get me wrong, my dry issue is not enough for me to regret for even one second my surgery. I love being able to see the computer clear as day, the gas station sign a couple yards away from my exit ramp and the TV without having to squint. Even with glasses, I squinted (is that a word?) all the time. And, now...unless I am having a dry eye day (which still happens now and then) I rarely squint unless I am outside in a very sunny day.
Anyway, the whole point of my post is that you should visit your regular eye doctor and have him or her check you for dry eye. They will tell you if you have it and how severe it is. They really have not as much to lose as your Lasik doc would. You will still have to go see him or her annually. The only thing they won't be getting from you is money for new glasses or contacts. Granted, that is a chunk of change but, not as much as the couple or more thousands of dollars you will be giving to your lasik doc.
I agree with Hating glasses. I had my lasik surgeon test me but it wouldn't hurt to have your eye doctor check. That would be a neutral person. I went into this knowing I have dry eye and would deal with whatever happened. Dry eye is a tough thing to deal with and I had it before hand so I knew what I was getting in to. Restasis has been helping me but it doesn't work for everyone. My advise it to do all your checking and make your decision after looking into everything. I put off my surgery 2 months and thought it through. I am very happy I did it but if you asked me on a bad (dry eye) day I might give you a different answer. Good luck and keep us posted.