If you’re planning on getting LASIK, first you need a LASIK consultation at Chesen Laser Eye Center. There, you will go through a comprehensive eye exam to determine if you’re a LASIK candidate. 
Being a good candidate means that you meet certain criteria.

Meeting these criteria makes the surgery safe and successful. Keep reading to learn if having dry eye can make you a bad LASIK candidate!

Are your eyes healthy?

One of the most important factors is that your eyes need to be healthy.  Post LASIK eyes are very vulnerable to becoming infected. 
If you have prior eye conditions, they are more likely to become exacerbated after LASIK. One of the best examples is dry eye, as it is a very common condition that people need to deal with before getting LASIK. 

Your dry eye needs to be under control before LASIK

If you have mild dry eye, it won’t disqualify you as a LASIK candidate. The same may not be true if you suffer from severe dry eye symptoms. 
If you are not producing enough tears, your eyes are not as protected from the elements. This could lead to infection. With dry eye, you may not produce enough tears or the tears are low-quality.  
LASIK itself can cause dry eye, because nerves in the cornea are cut, leading to a decrease in sensitivity. This means your cornea may not recognize when it needs to produce more tears.  
For most patients, dry eye symptoms after LASIK are manageable with eye drops. These are temporary until your eyes heal and tear production returns to normal. 

Treating dry eye

If your dry eye is severe enough to disqualify you from LASIK, then you will need to begin treating it. Sometimes, it is enough to change your environment and lifestyle.  
This includes:

  • limiting your screen time 
  • quitting smoking
  • wearing eye protection when appropriate
  • wearing sunglasses that protect for 100% of UV rays when going outside
  • removing allergens from your home

But if your dry eye is severe enough that you can’t get LASIK, then you will likely need extra treatment.

Steroid eye drops

Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe steroid eye drops. Normal eye drops only treat dry eye symptoms. Prescribed medication like steroid eye drops can help stimulate tear production. 

Punctal plugs

Another option are punctal plugs. These are small plugs inserted into your tear ducts to prevent your tears draining out. This helps them remain on the surface of your eyes longer. 
Punctal plugs are simple, easy, and painless to insert. If they cause your eyes to be too watery or aren’t working, they are easily removed. 

Meibomian gland expression therapy

If it is the quality of your tears that is the issue, then you may need meibomian gland expression therapy. This involves using a combination of pressure pulses and heat. 
The pulses and heat help melt waxy residue in the oil producing gland of your eyelids. 
The only way to know for sure if you are a LASIK candidate is to have a LASIK consultation. Schedule yours at Chesen Eye Laser Center in West Reading, PA and get your vision journey started!