Dry Eyes and LASIK

by Lance Kugler, MD

At Kugler Vision, we get a lot of questions about dry eyes and LASIK: “Can I have LASIK if I have dry eyes?” and “Does LASIK cause dry eyes?”

People Want LASIK Because They Have Dry Eyes

Nearly 41 million Americans rely on contact lenses for temporary vision correction, and many prefer them to glasses. But wearing contact lenses can result in a common and dangerous side effect known as contact lens intolerance (CLI).

Closeup of person putting contact into red, irritated eye.

Contact lens wearers suffering from CLI are no longer able to apply contact lenses to their eyes or wear contacts for any extended time without pain, discomfort, or injury. Dry eye is one of the major factors that can contribute to CLI.

Many people who wish to have LASIK already suffer from dry eyes and CLI. For example, contact lens wearers who find their contacts uncomfortable because of dry eyes may investigate LASIK as an alternative because they do not want to go back to wearing glasses.

Can I have LASIK With Dry Eyes?

Even if you already have dry eyes, you could still have LASIK if you receive dry eye treatment before having the LASIK procedure. At Kugler Vision, patients experiencing problems with dry eyes and contact lens wear are given a series of comprehensive tests to determine the best treatment for CLI. If you suffer from dry eyes, our doctors will recommend ways to improve your dry eye symptoms, such as:

Compilation of various dry eye treatments

Find Out If You’re a Candidate for Laser Vision Correction

It can be frustrating when you cannot wear your contact lenses like you used to because of dry eyes. LASIK is a safe and effective long-term solution for treating the same refractive errors contact lenses temporarily correct:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Dysfunctional lens syndrome (DLS) stage 1

After CLI is treated, you may be able to return to contact lenses, or consider more natural solutions such as a laser vision correction procedure. At Kugler Vision in Omaha, we care about the health of your eyes.

Happy woman in a flannel shirt smiling at camera and holding a iphone.

If you are experiencing any discomfort with your contact lenses, or just hate the daily hassles of putting them in and taking them out, we advise you to please schedule a consultation with us so we can identify the problem and offer a solution. Book your consultation online today, or call us at 402.558.2211.

kugler vision doctor lance kugler

Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in LASIK and vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an Associate Professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.

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I have noticed my near vision has gotten worse than before, which is the side effect of LASIK. Can you read your phone w/o reading glasses? Or only when you”re reading a book and such?

Christina Parish

Hi, did you know that reading glasses is not a side effect of LASIK? As we enter our 40s, we begin to experience near vision problems due to changes in our eyes’ lenses, and may develop the need for reading glasses and bifocals. This is a completely natural part of the aging process that happens to all of us – whether someone has had LASIK or not. Learn more about your vision changes here https://lasikomaha.com/vision-correction-procedures/refractive-lens-exchange/ or contact us at 402.558.2211:


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