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LASIK Aftercare The Best Eye Drops for Dry Eyes

LASIK Aftercare: The Best Eye Drops for Dry Eyes

Are you fighting the urge to scratch your itchy eyes? If you’ve gotten LASIK done, think twice before giving in to the desire. 

While eye drops are simple yet effective solutions for dry eyes, every LASIK patient experiences varying side effects. 

Most LASIK aftercare kits include a bottle of artificial tears to keep your eyes moist during its delicate post-procedure state. 

It’s easy to assume that any brand of eye drops on the market is good enough. However, different brands offer varying benefits and don’t always come in a one-size-fits-all solution.

Proper aftercare is essential for long-lasting comfort and protection if you underwent LASIK for medical or aesthetic reasons.

More often than not, your eyes are in a delicate state post-LASIK. That’s why learning about the correct eye drops is crucial to induce faster healing. 

Why do you need eye drops after getting LASIK? 

Eye drops can relieve dryness and redness post-LASIK, which is crucial in protecting your eyes from infections. Eye drops after LASIK also make your eyes feel more comfortable and refreshed. 

Dry eyes are normal after LASIK procedures, and the side effect can be a nuisance. More often than not, dry eyes go away on their own but, when left untreated, could worsen over time. 

Not to mention, scratching your dry eyes could shorten the longevity of your LASIK results. Any untreated discomfort or pain before and after the procedure can negatively affect your eye health.

However, if you’re experiencing severe dryness, it might be high time to assess your aftercare habits. 

While eye drops provide relief, the effects don’t always last. Depending on your surroundings and lifestyle, the dryness may come back and cause more severe irritation. 

Determining the types of eye drops available and using the right solution for your eye needs may help relieve symptoms and extend the effectiveness of LASIK with proper use. 

The Three Types of Eye Drops and How to Use Them

The Three Types of Eye Drops and How to Use Them

The most common post-op eye drops contain steroidal and antibacterial properties. Opting for solutions containing any or both of these properties should be prioritised.

The type of eye drops to use may also depend on your pre-LASIK eye condition. If you’re already experiencing dryness before undergoing the procedure, your doctor may prescribe thicker or denser solutions. 

Determining the correct solution can be taxing with all the brands out there. Read on to find out how to get lasting relief from dry eyes after LASIK with the three most common eye drops.

1. Artificial Tear Drops: Best for Mildly Dry Eyes

Artificial tear drops are doctors’ most commonly prescribed type of eye drops after LASIK. In its basic form, this type of eye drop is designed to keep your eyes moist and lubricated. 

As the name suggests, artificial tear drops mimic real tears but have specific chemicals like lubricants, electrolytes, and antibacterial properties to keep bacteria from growing. 

Since most eye doctors prescribe artificial tear drops to LASIK patients, they’re likely to be available in your chosen eye clinic. 

They’re best for mildly dry eyes and are used right after LASIK procedures. Trusted artificial tear drops in Singapore include Refresh Plus and Alcon Tears Naturale Free.

If you find yourself using artificial tear drops thrice a day, it’s best to switch to other eye drop types. 

Avoid this type of eye drop immediately once allergic reactions start. Note that some solutions come with preservatives and may cause reactions when used frequently.

While proven safe and effective for post-LASIK care, preservative-free artificial tear drops can often be more expensive than their other over-the-counter counterparts. 

2. Allergy Eye Drops: Best for Itchy and Swollen Eyes

If your eyes start to water and itch rapidly after your LASIK procedure, allergy eye drops may be your best eye care solution. 

Allergy eye drops contain an antihistamine, a drug that blocks allergens from causing reactions in your eyes. 

Since allergic reactions often cause watery eyes, this eye drop helps reduce further itching and swelling by acting on nerve endings around your eyes. 

Some trusted allergy eye drop brands include Vision Easy Eye Drop, Visine, and Alcon Naphcon-A. Consult your doctor first for recommended dosage if you have a preferred brand. 

Allergy eye drops also contain anti-inflammatory chemicals to reduce constant swelling. This type of steroidal eye drop is best used for severe allergic reactions.

If your symptoms persist, inform your doctor about getting a prescribed steroidal solution as a backup. 

Allergy eye drops, although effective, should also be used with caution. If symptoms begin to subside, make the switch back to lubricating eye drops like artificial tears.  

3. Decongestant Eye Drops: Best for Red and Veiny Eyes

Decongestant eye drops are best for patients experiencing redness and veiny eyes post-LASIK. 

This type of eye drop contains vasoconstrictors that shrink surface-level blood vessels in your eyes and should be used with caution. 

Some brands contain antihistamine chemicals to combat itchiness associated with eye redness. Since decongestant eye drops use vasoconstrictors, frequent use may result in drug dependency. 

This means that once you stop using this eye drop, your eyes will start to get red again. Stop using this type of eye drop if the redness doesn’t go away in a few days. 

Before using decongestant eye drops, determine your post-LASIK habits that may be causing extreme redness, such as prolonged eye strain and allergies. 

Popular decongestant eye drop brands include Clear Eyes, Opcon-A, Systane Red Eyes, and Rohto Cooling Eye Drops

If your eye dryness is severe and decongestant eye drops don’t work, you might want to stick with allergy eye drops instead. 

If the redness doesn’t go away and causes discomfort, consult your doctor immediately. Redness and swelling that don’t improve are common signs of infections and should be treated with haste. 

What happens if my dry eyes don’t improve after LASIK?

What happens if my dry eyes don't improve after LASIK

While dryness after LASIK is normal, it doesn’t go away instantly. That’s because your eyes are vulnerable to infections and allergens in your surroundings. 

If none of the prescribed eye drops improves your dry eyes after getting LASIK, don’t fret just yet. Consult your eye doctor and explain other symptoms you are experiencing. 

Some patients experience dryness before getting LASIK, which may lead to more dryness after the procedure. 

This dryness usually goes away after a month or two following the procedure. Follow the advice of your doctor and use eye drops diligently until the dryness goes away. 

However, inform your doctor about any discomfort or visual distortion after getting LASIK. While the results are permanent, any side effect that doesn’t improve over time is a cause for concern. 

It’s also best to inform your doctor about your dosage. Your eye doctor may look into your situation and make changes to your prescription if necessary.

How long after LASIK should I use eye drops?

The ideal duration of using eye drops is at least one month following your LASIK procedure. 

Artificial tear drops are commonly used during this recovery period, followed by more specific eye drop types if symptoms persist. 

Lubricating eye drops like artificial tears can be used frequently to keep your eyes moist and protected. 

Usually, mild dryness should subside after three months of constant eye drop use. Once you’ve gotten accustomed to post-LASIK vision, you can omit using eyedrops frequently.

You can continue using eye drops long after your LASIK procedure when needed. You should, however, consult your doctor about your symptoms to determine the right type to use. 

For allergy and decongestant eye drops, use them only when needed. If you don’t experience allergic reactions every day, discontinue use when symptoms subside. 

It’s also best practice to keep a bottle of eye drops with you wherever you go. This is to ensure that your eyes remain hydrated and retain the effectiveness of LASIK over time. 

Eye Drops vs Eye Gels: Which One Is Better?

Eye Drops vs Eye Gels Which One Is Better

Eye drops and eye gels have the same effect on LASIK patients, albeit used for different reasons.

Eye drops are the go-to solution that doctors prescribe to LASIK patients after the procedure. They are runny and watery, almost mimicking actual tears in your eyes to keep them lubricated. 

As stated above, there are several types of eye drops, and they have different purposes. Since eye drops are very runny, patients may need to reapply them throughout the day for maximum relief. 

Eye drops can also come in slightly thicker formulas like Systane Ultra and Opticlear. They last longer than regular eye drops and retain moisture for extended periods. 

Eye gels, on the other hand, are thicker and denser. They stay in your eyes longer than eye drops, giving optimum relief for long-lasting protection and comfort. 

Eye gels either come in drop or ointment form. Choosing which type is best depends on preference. 

Many patients who experience extreme dryness prefer eye gels in drop form since they are much easier to apply than ointments. 

Brands like Vidisic and Genteal are often used at night since eye gels tend to feel sticky during the day. 

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