Among the medical literature there has been some studies suggesting that PRK may have less of a dry eye factor than LASIK surgery. A recent study out of Stanford University treated one eye with LASIK surgery and the other eye with PRK surgery and looked at postoperative signs and symptoms of dry eye, dry eye severity, foreign body sensation, and visual fluctuation. Results revealed there was no long term difference in symptoms nor clinical findings between the two surgeries.
Dr Ashraf of the Atlanta Vision Institute comments that although the tear film is disrupted in patients after LASIK surgery, most patients do not have significant nor bothersome symptoms such as irritation, foreign body sensation, and or fluctuating vision. The good news is the majority of patients that have clinical symptoms of dry eyes usually resolve after a few weeks or months and return back to their baseline levels. The small percentage of patients that have persistent dry eye symptoms usually have a significant tear film imbalance prior to surgery. Dr Ashraf adds that it is imperative to have a good pre-LASIK exam in which the surgeon extensively examines the tear film status and start on measures that stabilizes the tear film prior to surgery.
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