Could Dry Eyes Affect LASIK Candidacy?

woman with dry eyes

Dry Eyes in Nashville, TN

Have you been debating getting LASIK for years? Are you worried that your dry eye will disqualify you from being a candidate for the procedure?

One thing your doctor will test when considering if you are a good candidate for LASIK is if you have dry eyes. Having healthy eyes is key to a successful procedure and recovery.

Keep reading to learn if having dry eyes could affect LASIK candidacy!

What Is Dry Eye and Why Does It Occur?

Dry eye occurs when your eyes under or overproduce tears or make low-quality tears. Low-quality tears are tears that are mostly made of water.

High-quality tears have three components: water, oil, and mucus. There are many things that can cause dry eye. This ranges from the environment to health conditions.

One of the most common causes of dry eye for patients who want LASIK is wearing contact lenses! People who wear contacts often find that their eyes are dry and itchy and that is one of the reasons they want LASIK.

Patients usually find out they have dry eyes when they are being evaluated for LASIK eye surgery. To get LASIK, dry eyes must first be under control and managed.

Dry Eye Screening

Before you can be a good candidate for LASIK, you need to go through different screening tests. Doctors know that the quality and quantity of your tears impacts LASIK recovery.

This makes treating dry eye very important. The different tests your doctor will do include:

Schirmer Test:

During a Schirmer Test, a small piece of paper is placed under your lower eyelid to measure your tear production.

Tear Breakup Time:

In this test, a small amount of dye is put on your eye. This allows your doctor to watch how tears distribute and move on the surface of your eye.


Instruments like a keratometer or others give your doctor a clear view of your tear film without touching your eye.

MMP-9 Testing:

Your doctor will collect a small number of your tears from your bottom lid. They will then look to see if you have high amounts of proteins that can lead to conditions like dry eye after LASIK. This procedure is painless.

Why Does It Matter If You Have Dry Eye Before LASIK?

If your doctor finds that you have dry eyes, you will not qualify as a good candidate for LASIK. Most patients with dry eyes don’t even know that they have it.

The good news? Most patients with dry eye can get LASIK after their dry eye is under control.

Treating your dry eye before LASIK is important because LASIK can cause you to have dry eyes. Dry eye is one of the most common side effects after people have LASIK eye surgery.

While it is temporary, for patients that have dry eye, getting LASIK might make dry eye symptoms worse. This is why doctors want patients to have their dry eye under control before having LASIK.

Have dry eye but wondering if LASIK could be in your near future? Schedule a LASIK consultation at Loden Vision Centers in Nashville, TN now!

Don’t let your dry eye symptoms stand in the way of your dreams of getting LASIK!

Hampton B. Speech Bubble Photo

Many thanks to Doctor Loden and his amazing staff! They made something that would otherwise be very intimidating very comforting. Their professionalism and service was off the charts. I am one day post surgery and am pain free and can see better than I have for twenty years. I would recommend them to anyone!

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Kim C. Speech Bubble Photo

I am so thankful to Dr. Loden. My results from my LASIK surgery were instant. I don't have hardly any vision distortion and it 1 day post surgery, it will just keep getting better each day. I see better now than I've ever been able to with glasses or contacts. I so recommend Dr. Loden!!!

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Kim C.
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Provided by Citysearch - Thanks to Dr. Loden and his staff. I had LASIK yesterday with the guarantee that I would have 20/20 or better. Now it's the day after and sure enough I have 20/20 in both eyes and Dr. Loden says "it will only get better." Everything he has said has been spot on so there is no need to doubt him now. His staff was the nicest people I've ever met in a business environment. If anyone deserves a award it would be Loden Vision Center.

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