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What is the treatment for dry eyes after PRK laser surgery?

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Practicing since : 2003
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Five months ago, PRK laser surgery was done to my wife , age 31 yrs old. She is feeling dry eyes during night sleep. She is using refresh tears gel drops once in the morning and gly tears drops in the night twice atleast. But still dry eyes problem is there. When she tries to wake up in the middle, she could not even open her eyes. Its sticky and paining. Will this problem be permanent? How to get rid of this dry eyes problem?
Posted Fri, 28 Mar 2014 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Answered by Dr. Dadapeer K 49 minutes later
Brief Answer: This is not permanent and will improve. Detailed Answer: Hello Welcome to Health care Magic Iam Dr. Dadapeer K, an Ophthalmologist and I answer health problems related to eye. It seems from the history that your wife has underwent PRK laser surgery 5 months back and she is having dry eyes. She is on treatment for dry eyes with refresh tears gel drops in the morning and glytears drops in the night. One of the common problems seen in the post operative period following refractive laser surgeries is dryness of eyes. This is caused by damage to the corneal nerves caused by the refractive laser surgery. This problem will recover slowly over 3-6 months as the nerves start regenerating. Sometimes the problem may persist for 1-2 years before showing improvement and this occurs in people with pre existing dry eyes. PRK is a type of surface ablation refractive laser surgery in which laser is applied to the cornea after removing the epithelium. The advantage of PRK is it tends to cause less dry eye as compared to LASIK as in LASIK corneal flap removes the nerves to a greater depth as compared to PRK. Hence PRK is known to cause lesser degree of dryness of eyes following the surgery. Since your wife has undergone PRK surgery as I have mentioned above the chances of dry eyes are less and the chances of complete resolution of symptoms is more, hence no need to worry much. This will not be permanent and it will improve over time. As of now she can use the lubricating eye drops more frequently. It is better that she uses eye drops in the morning and gel before sleeping in the night as gels have better retention and provide action for longer time. If the symptoms of dry eye are severe and not decreasing with medical treatment she can go for the option of punctal plugs which will decrease the drainage of the tears. Punctal plugs can be removed later once her symptoms improve. Do discuss with your eye surgeon regarding the severity of dry eye and need for punctal plugs. Hope I have answered your questions and the information is helpful to you. Thank you
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