Lasik and Dry Eyes

What is Lasik

Lasek has fewer complications of dry eye than Lasik.

Lasik (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is an eye surgery that reshapes the cornea in order to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses.  Epi Lasek is meant to achieve the same outcome as Lasik.  There is no stromal corneal flap with Epi Lasek which eliminates some potential complications.   Both Lasik and Epi Lasek can provide excellent refractive outcomes.Lasik | Epi Lasek | Dry eyes| Alaina Kronenberg MD

Lasik and Dry Eyes

Dry eyes is the most common complication from refractive eye surgery.  Dry eyes can be due to either inadequate tear production or excessive evaporation of the tears.  There can be inflammation of the ocular surface.

It often occurs in the immediate post operative period and it is usually transient and often resolves during the first year after the surgery.  It is important for your ophthalmologist to perform a detailed comprehensive eye examination prior to your surgery to diagnose dry eyes or risk factors for dry eyes.

Dry Eyes

Symptoms of dry eyes can include burning, stinging, a foreign body sensation, fluctuating or blurry vision and a gritty sensation in the eyes.  Dry eyes can range from mild to severe.  Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr, Cindy Wang and I will treat your dry eyes with a combination of over the counter and prescription medications depending on the severity of the condition.

Lasik and Dry Eye

When traditional Lasik is performed, a flap is cut in the cornea.  This causes some of the corneal nerves to also be cut.  This can cause the sensation of the cornea to be reduced.  You may not sense the need for more lubrication and therefore less tears are made by the glands around the eyes.

Dry eyes after refractive surgery can not only affect the comfort of the eye but also the quality of the vision.  If you suffer from dry eyes after your surgery, it is important that we treat it promptly.

Epi Lasek

When Dr. Stanley Grandon and I perform Epi Lasek, no stromal corneal flap is cut.  Therefore the corneal nerves are not disrupted.  This may decrease the chances you will develop dry eyes after your surgery.  You may be a better candidate for Epi Lasek if you suffer from dry eyes before your surgery.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126

Diagnosis and Treatment of Dry Eye

Diagnosis of Dry Eye

The diagnosis of dry eye is usually a clinical diagnosis.  This means it is diagnosed often by the symptoms you report.  At the Eye Surgery Institute, Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I will take a complete history of your symptoms.

If you have dry eye you may often complain of burning, irritation, a foreign body sensation and /or fluctuating vision.  The vision may blur up when you are reading, using your cell phone or on the computer for a long time.

I will perform a comprehensive eye examination including using various dyes to assess the surface of the eye.  There are various other tests that can also be used to evaluate the quality of the tears in your eyes.

Treatment of Dry EyeDry Eye diagnosis and treatment | Eye Surgery Institute| Dearborn MI | Alaina Kronenberg MD

If your dry eye signs and symptoms are mild, I may recommend over the counter artificial tears to start.  The artificial tears in a bottle (with preservative) can be used up to four times a day.

If necessary, I may recommend preservative free artificial tears that can be used more often.  Preservative free tears may also be better if you are also on other drops for glaucoma.

For more moderate signs and symptoms of dry eye, I may also add a gel or night time eye ointment.  I may also recommend a prescription dry eye medication called Restasis.  Restasis can take several months to assess if it is helping you.

Other remedies for dry eye can include punctal plugs.  This is when the opening of the tear duct (called the punctum) is partially blocked with a tiny insert.  This will allow your natural tears or artificial tears to stay on the surface of your eye longer.

Blepharitis, Dry Eye and Ocular Allergies

If you have dry eye you may also have other associated problems that are contributing to your discomfort.  I will examine your eye for inflammation of the eyelid margin which is called blepharitis.  I will also assess for ocular allergies.  These conditions need to be successfully treated to achieve ocular comfort.


When I treat you dry eyes, it is necessary to be patient.  I usually tell my patients that “the problem did not happen overnight and it will not be better by tomorrow morning.”  Also, it is important to remember that the is no cure for dry eyes.  My goals are to treat you so that your feel at least 80% better over time.  If you are suffering from burning, irritation, foreign body sensation and /or fluctuating vision give us a call for an appointment as other ocular problems can also cause similar symptoms at  313-582-8856.
Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126