Can I have laser eye surgery if I have dry eye?

Yes, you can and what is important is that your degree of dry eye is properly assessed and managed by your laser eye surgeon and factored into your suitability.

Occasionally your eyes will be considered too dry for laser eye surgery and a few of my patients have been told this and while it's disappointing, it's better to be told you are not suitable than go ahead and have issues after laser eye surgery.

You may be surprised to know that dry eye varies according to whether you are female or male, your ethnicity and your pattern of contact lens wear and even your degree of myopia or short-sightedness.

For example, if you are Asian and female and have been wearing contact lenses for long hours and many years and have a high spectacle prescription or number, you are more likely to have dry eye before surgery and after surgery. That’s why some of my patients will have SMILE laser eye surgery rather than LASIK as SMILE reduces the risk of dry eye.

I will also typically give my patients some “homework” to do before laser eye surgery namely using tear drops regularly and taking more omega 3s such as fish oil capsules because the better and more moist your eyes going in to surgery, the better your result will be. As with many things in life, good preparation is key :)

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