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Dry sore eyes 3 weeks post lasik

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  • Dry sore eyes 3 weeks post lasik

    On May 20th I underwent Lasik surgery to correct my nearsightedness. I opted for the monovision correction as I had tried this out with contacts and found it worked well for me. I was overcorrected in my (dominant) left eye to +1.0 (with some residual astigmatism). My right eye was corrected to - 1.0.

    I am not sure if I have dry eyes or if I am suffering from eye strain. My eyes feel somewhat dry when I wake up in the middle of the night. I feel fine in the morning after excessive stretching and yawning to remoisturize my eyes. By afternoon, my eyes just feel sore. I had tried OTC drops and they do not help. If I do not work my eyes by trying to focus on print, they feel better at the end of the day.

    I have gone to see the surgeon. He said my corneas look okay and that if my eyes feel dry I should use drops. He also said that the overcorrection was intentional, given that I opted for monovision, and that he expects there to be some regression as I heal.

    Anyone have any ideas of how to proceed? Is the soreness due to dry eyes? I am menopausal so I may have had some dry eye symptoms to begin with. . .
    It is hard not to panic about my vision issues. My MD wants me on an antidepressant but I have read that this too can worsen dry eyes. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Hello bella_girl,

    I had LASIK in 1999 and experienced many of your symptoms. Back then, there was very little known about post-surgical complications. Many of us with complications had nowhere to turn and were faced with doctors who had no patience with our complaints because they had no answers to our questions.

    When I experienced a regression in correction after the initial surgery and also after a re-correction surgery, doctors scared me by stating that the only reason for this regression was a very serious condition that could threaten my vision. It was a very scary time for me.

    But then a few years later, when more was known and there were more people who actually had the procedure done and experienced problems, there were several medical studies that found that there are several risk factors that predict a possible post-surgical regression in correction. One of those factors is menopause. That applied to me.

    So the good news is your surgeon understand you and your risk factors and has prepared for the probability that you will see some regression. Hopefully, it will save you a second surgery or disappointment in your correction for the future.

    It is tough waiting for the regression and not really knowing when it will happen. In the meantime, try some cheap discount store reading glasses for close-up work or even computer work. Using reading glasses right now will not affect your correction or healing. Bring a book to the store and try out lots of different reading glasses in different prescription strengths. Reading glasses can help ease the eye strain that you are currently experiencing and hopefully, reduce the soreness at the end of the day.

    Using eye drops to keep your eyes moist during this post-surgical healing time is very important. But remember, not all eye drops are the same and they are all made of chemicals. You could possibly be sensitive to any ingredient in any eye drop, making that eye drop feel like it doesnít help. What actually may be happening is that your eyes are having a rebound reaction to a chemical in the formula. Your ocular surface is very sensitive right now. Even the non-preserved drops can cause a reaction. But luckily, there are many drops on the market and they all have different formulas.

    Everyone is different, but you can do some of your own research by choosing several different drops from your pharmacy and try one a day and test whether it helps your eyes feel less irritated and sore. Many feel good initially, but then feel worse due to the rebound sensitivity.

    Antidepressants have the potential to cause dry eye, but not all antidepressants have the same side effects for all people who take them. Everyone is different and you may find one that really helps you feel better and doesnít cause that side effect. And if it does, you can ask your doctor to change it to another antidepressant.

    Try not to panic, but that is easier said than done, I know. Iíve been there.

    It does get better.

    I hope this helps.



    • #3
      Hi Scout,

      Thanks so much for your detailed reply. Yesterday was a great 'sore eye' free day. I worked on my report cards on the computer and did not experience sore eyes until close to bed time! I have also been using rice socks before bed. I think they help to produce healthy tears when sleeping. I now make up with some of the 'sleep' that I used to get in the corners of my eyes upon waking. I am guessing this is a good sign!

      I have thought about going back onto bio-identical hormones to help get me through the blues that I am experiencing. The bio-identicals helped in the past with other menopausal symptoms and my compounding pharmacy says that they do not contribute to 'dry eyes'.

      Glad to hear that regression is common in menopause. I don't know that I would want to go through an 'enhancement' given all that I have learned about the possible complications from the procedure (I have also read posts on 'd'eyealogues').

      Thanks so much for your words of encourgement.