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One of the most common side effects of LASIK surgery is dry eyes, accorinding to the American Journal of Ophthalmology (March, 2006.) Dry eyes may occur in up to 30% of surgeries, and can make the patient feel a generalized discomfort in the eyes.
Because of the prevalence of this side effect, most surgeons prepare for this potential side effect ahead of time. Pre- and postoperative care often includes a constant monitoring of dry eyes. Additionally, most patients are sent home on the day of surgery with a plethora of proactive and reactive artificial tears to combat dry eyes before they become discomforting to the patient. Additionally, eye drops and over the counter artificial tears are available at most drugstores.
In the event that dry eyes are a seriously discomforting side effect, there are some alternative remedies, such as punctual occlusion, which places a plug in the natural draining mechanism of the eye, forcing moisture to the front of the eye.
While dry eyes is considered common, more than 60% of patients do not experience dry eyes, and as such, most patient feel LASIK is far worth the risk of dry eyes. Moreover, most patients who do experience dry eyes experience such minor effects from them that they do not see them as a reason to avoid recommending the surgery to a friend or family member.
If you're getting LASIK, and are concerned about or currently suffer from dry eyes, speak to your LASIK surgeon. He or she can help you understand how this potential side effect may affect you personally.