I’ve got dry eyes, can I have refractive lens exchange surgery?

I’ve got dry eyes, can I have refractive lens exchange surgery?

Millions of people suffer from dry eyes and, if you’re one of them, the last thing you want to do is make your condition worse. You may have heard that eye surgery will just make your dry eyes worse, however, you will be glad to hear this is not always the case.

There are many factors that contribute to dry eyes but the main cause is the quality and quantity of your tears. You need the correct amount of moisture and tear film in your eyes for good eye health. If your eyes don’t produce enough tears or they are not the correct consistency, causing them to evaporate too quickly, your eyes will become dry.

The dryness of the eye causes the cornea to become inflamed and this then causes itching, redness, burning and overall discomfort of the eyes.

The other factors that can cause dry eyes are:

  • The natural aging process including hormonal changes during menopause
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Allergies and allergy medication
  • Dry heating systems or air conditioning at work or at home
  • Living in a big city with the irritating effects of pollution or dry air
  • Working at a computer or the use of a smart phone for long periods of time
  • Certain autoimmune diseases
  • Wearing contact lenses

Having dry eyes can affect the healing of your eyes after refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery. However, screening is carried out before you undergo your surgery to make sure your dry eyes won’t significantly impact the recovery of your eyes. The cause of your dry eyes may be investigated and it is possible that further action will be taken to minimise or reverse the effects prior to undergoing RLE surgery.

In certain cases, if the dryness is marked or does not improve with treatment, refractive lens exchange surgery with multifocal lens implants may not be a good option for you. This underlines the importance of the initial consultation and a bespoke treatment plan for each individual.