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  • I have dry eyes & take Restasis--should I do LASIK?

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    Old 04-02-2014, 05:50 AM   #1
    lasik205's Avatar
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    lasik205 HB User
    I have dry eyes & take Restasis--should I do LASIK?

    I'm 28 and am seriously considering LASIK. I started wearing contacts around the age of 12. When I was about 26 my eyes started acting weird--pain, redness, tears, etc. It took 3 doctors to find out the problem. Turns out it was dry eye. Since then I have worn my contacts only about 3 times. For the past 1.5 years I have been taking Restasis for my dry eyes and it has helped. Originally I had pain in my eye, it felt like there was dirt in my eye, sensitive to wind, etc--all of the bad symptoms of dry eye. At the beginning I was putting 5-8 lubricating drops in my eye a day for relief while also doing warm compresses and using the gel tears at night.

    Currently, I feel like I have pretty normal eyes. Despite being totally dependent on glasses, my eyes aren't as dry as they once were. I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night with dry eye. Also about 1-3 times a month I need to add lubricating drops in my eyes during the day. Other than paying the hundreds of dollars for the Restasis drops, I feel like my eyes are pretty normal.

    This week (April 2014) I had a schirmer's dry eye test and got a 22 & 18--apparently that's normal--but worse than previous tests.

    In May 2013 I got a 34 and 35.
    In October 2012 I got 34 and 35.

    CONSIDERING LASIK--met with two doctors
    I have met with two doctors already. The first doctor said I was not a candidate because of my dry eyes. I think he based his decision on the fact that I told him the last time I tried to wear my contacts I had to take them out within the hour because they bothered me too much. He basically said he was concerned about the trauma that LASIK does to the eye and that my eye doesn't seem to respond well to trauma/touching--since the contacts irritated my eyes.

    The second doctor, who is also my dry eye doctor, who put me on Restasis, said I am a candidate for LASIK. He has now referred me to a doctor that appears to operate a "lasik mill." This second doctor did not seem to know much about how LASIK will effect my already dry eyes and didn't really answer my questions s/he responded by telling me to ask the doc s/he was referring me to. I guess what happens is my dry eye doctor does a preliminary assessment of my eyes, then sends me to the "lasik mill" where they do more test and determine whether to do the surgery. Then, assuming I do the surgery, I go back to the referring doc (my dry eye doc) who treats me after the LASIK. This is a little scary, because how does he know what he's doing or what bad signs to look for...

    I know that one of the side effects of LASIK is often dry eye. I know the extent of the dryness varies from person to person. Theoretically I could have the surgery and my eyes be the same, but then again they could get severe.

    I have read posts by people saying flat out: do not do lasik, but then I have read posts where it works for people and they are happy.

    BUT, I have not heard from anyone that was on Restasis prior to the surgery or who had dry eye prior to the surgery--and would like to hear from you all--how did it go, what did the doctors say, are you happy with the procedure, etc.

    Thanks everyone!

    Last edited by lasik205; 04-02-2014 at 06:37 AM.

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    Old 04-15-2014, 11:49 AM   #2
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    Re: I have dry eyes & take Restasis--should I do LASIK?

    Hi! Not sure if you should base your decision on what others may have had happen to them as lasik is an individual thing when it comes to healing and all that goes with it. I had not dry eye that I know of as I never had it tested but the first 6 weeks post op, I did quite severely. I found the right drops for me that worked well and now I have less dryness but I'm 2 months out so I expect that to get better. It is hell dealing with it at first and the I would never had considered lasik if I had intolerance to contacts or any dryness at all prior. It was the single most deciding factor in my decision. If you are prone to depression, or feel you cannot live with anything other than the best outcome, lasik is not for you. Dryness is not the only factor either. We all have varying degrees of poor night vision after lasik. Can you deal with it if it is permanent? I told myself I could and I do as the day vision is great in one eye, the other is 20/30 so my outcome was less than satisfactory and I will try for a touchup in 8 months or so.
    Just think on it carefully because once you take the leap, there is no going back. I think those that say they had great vision from the get go really are not diving into the details of the 1st year they had and a lot of this is left out of these stories. There are a lot of little things to deal with and if you are prepared to begin with, you can deal with the ups and downs but if it were me in your shoes, I would not do it. To risky and your happiness may just turn to something I would not want to contemplate.

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