Posted by: Manhattan LASIK Center

If you’ve been considering laser vision correction surgery and have the tendency of getting dry eyes, ReLEx laser eye surgery might be the procedure for you. This relatively new laser vision correction procedure is gentle on the eye.

Why People Get Dry Eyes After LASIK Surgery

After any type of laser corneal refractive surgery, your eyes can get somewhat drier. This dryness is a result of the change in the shape of the corneal surface, as well as the disturbance of the corneal surface innervation. It can also result from the effects of various antibiotics, anesthetics, or anti-inflammatory eye drops after and during the surgery.

One of the most sensitive areas of the body is the surface of the cornea. This area immediately senses a problem or injury in the eye, consequently protecting one of your most vital senses. These nerve endings play an important role when it comes to the production of tears. They are more concentrated in the front part of the cornea, which is where they form a network of branches.

A standard LASIK procedure involves making a thin corneal flap, which the eye doctor lifts to allow for the reshaping of the underlying cornea. During a LASIK procedure, our eye doctors in Edison, NJ alter the surface nerve fibers when they lift the flap. It is important to note that in patients without a preexisting dry eye, LASIK eye surgery rarely causes dry eye problems.

ZEISS SMILE uses the accuracy of a laser to create a corrective lens of tissue instead of creating a flap. Since there is no lifting of the flap during the procedure, the nerve endings in the cornea experience no damage. Consequently, it results in fewer dry eye-related issues after the procedure.

Understanding the ZEISS SMILE Procedure

During the ZEISS SMILE procedure our eye doctors in Edison, NJ do not make a circumferential incision. Instead, they cut a corrective lens deeper in the cornea. That way, it is more likely that the corneal nerves will be preserved during surgery. Theoretically, this should lead to less disturbance to the tear production feedback loop after the procedure.

Compared to LASIK eye surgery where the nerve endings take some time to grow back, corneal nerves are minimally impacted by the SMILE procedure, leading to reduced postoperative dry eyes. Therefore, if you have dry eye tendencies, ZEISS SMILE is a more effective option. Dry eyes, however, do not disqualify you from having LASIK eye surgery.

According to several case studies, a corneal sensation often returns quickly after the SMILE procedure. In addition, there are fewer reports of dry eye. Before choosing any procedure, you should visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist in Edison, NJ for a thorough evaluation.

If you want to learn more about how dry eyes and ZEISS SMILE are correlated, call Manhattan LASIK Center at 212-759-9617. You can also visit one of our convenient locations in Manhattan, Roslyn, Edison, or Paramus, New York.