Scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, have found that people with a certain low level of tear production are more likely to develop chronic dry eye syndrome after LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), laser refractive surgery to correct near- and far-sightedness than those with more plentiful tears.
Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common problems treated by eye physicians. While it does not cause vision loss, dry eye syndrome severely decrease quality of life, increasing dependency on artificial tears and other medications.
Many people choose LASIK for cosmetic reasons. In recent years, thousands of military personnel have opted for LASIK surgery because it can help them see better and identify objects and people in the field more quickly. It also relieves them of the worry about lost or damaged glasses.
Usually, LASIK causes some dry eye syndrome directly after surgery, but the condition resolves within a few months. In a small number of cases, however, the dry eye condition following LASIK can become chronic and impact functioning of both civilian and military individuals for as long as nine months following surgery.
The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary team discovered that if a patient had a presurgical tear production value greater than 20 mm of wetting of the Schrimer strip in 5 minutes, they were not likely to develop chronic dry eye syndrome. Patients who produced less tears were more likely to develop long-term dry eye syndrome.
Schepens Eye Research Institute is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School and the largest independent eye research institute in USA.
Source: Patti Jacobs