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Is there a connection between prescription, dry eye & floaters post-LASIK

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  • Is there a connection between prescription, dry eye & floaters post-LASIK

    After my LASIK surgery not only did I get dry eye I have also noticed quite a few floaters that definitely weren't there before. These floaters are quite faint and can't be seen under a slit lamp. They are mostly annoying when looking at a PC screen or on a sunny day. I've been checked for retina tears and don't have any.

    My question is are dry eye and floaters in LASIK patients related beyond being caused by LASIK? What I mean by that is I've read the more short sighted you are the more likely you are to have floaters(regardless of surgery). I've also read that the more short sighted you are the more likely you are to suffer with dry eye after LASIK due to more of your cornea being cut away which causes nerve damage so your glands(lacrimal & meibomian) don't receive the signals they need correctly from your brain.

    I know some think that the floaters in LASIK patients could be caused by the high pressure of the suction ring used to hold your eye in place, but their have also been many LASEK patients reporting post operative floaters. I'm thinking could the likelihood of post LASIK floaters be more down to how high your prescription was pre-surgery? I've seen lots of posts on various sites about having both floaters and dry eye or only having dry eye post LASIK but I can't recall seeing too many posts about having just floaters post LASIK with no dry eye. Also I know five people who had LASIK with no dryness or floaters but they were all -2.25 or under.

    I've also been told by an Optometrist not connected with where I had my surgery that the vitreous gel in people who are more than -4 is significantly weaker and more likely to become detached than those under -4. My right eye which is the one which is giving me the most trouble in both terms of dryness and having more floaters was -5 pre LASIK. My left eye which has had a lot less dryness issues and has hardly any floaters was -2.75 pre LASIK.

    Sorry for the long post but I would like to know what other people think about this possible connection between prescription, LASIK dry eye and floaters.

  • #2
    I don't think there's any relationship between dry eye and floaters.

    There's definitely a relationship between high prescription and many LASIK complications including dry eye and visual aberrations, but I don't know if floaters should be on that list.

    There are abundant anecdotal reports of floater increase after LASIK but as far as I know there has never been a medical study published linking the two. A lot of doctors won't acknowledge any connection, but those that do would attribute it to the raise in pressure from the suction ring used when they're preparing to cut the flap. Those of us with high myopia are more susceptible to floaters so that may be a factor in susceptibility to lasik induced floaters.

    I had floaters before LASIK but they didn't bother me. Since LASIK I have far more and they are noticeable enough to be distracting, but still just an annoyance really not a problem.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Foundation


    • #3
      My prescription was about -4 in both eyes prior to Lasik. I was over-rcorrected in my left eye to +1 and under-corrected in the right (for mono vision). It is the left eye that is the driest and most painful. I too have floaters in both eyes. I dont think I have more floaters in the left than the rights. I did have floaters before my surgery, but they were never anywhere as noticeable as they are now.

      I believe people also experience floaters after PRK, where there is no suction cup used. I think the laser just damages the eyes. . . a very unfortunate procedure. I sure wish the refractive surgeons could be held more accountable. I believe they have the duty to warn patients of the risks associated with the procedure. . .

      If they are not willing to undergo the procedure themselves, they should not be doing the procedure on anyone else. . . just a thought.


      • #4
        Take a look at this link Rob...


        • #5
          Another theory I heard was that due to your cornea being reshaped so that light hits it differently allowing you to see it also allows you to see floaters that have been their all along but were not previously visible. Like Rebecca I had a few floaters before surgery and have more now that are more noticeable but they are not enough to impact on my daily life unlike my dry eye.

          Hopeful2 as far as them not being able to under go the procedure themselves I will always remember that my surgeon was wearing glasses!

          Thanks for the link Colin interesting reading.