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Scientists discover who is likely to get dry eye syndrome after LASIK surgery
Date:3/3/2008

Boston, MAScientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute have found that people with a certain low level of tear production are more likely to develop chronic dry eye syndrome after LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), laser refractive surgery to correct near- and far-sightedness than those with more plentiful tears. Their research, published in the January issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science, may offer reliable prescreening criteria for ophthalmologists and patients.

These findings should help ophthalmologists determine if pretreatment is necessary before surgery or if surgery is appropriate at all for an individual, says Dr. Darlene Dartt, director of the Military Vision Research Program at Schepens Eye Research Institute and the principal investigator of the study.

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common problems treated by eye physicians. Affecting more than 10 million Americans, it is caused by problems with the tear film responsible for lubricating the eye. While it does not cause vision loss, dry eye syndrome can be painful and severely decrease quality of life for its victims who constantly search for relief with artificial tears and other medications.

LASIK surgery uses small laser cuts to reshape the surface of the cornea, eliminating far-sightedness or near-sightedness, and the need for glasses or contacts. Many people choose LASIK for cosmetic reasons. In recent years, thousands of military personnel have opted for LASIK surgery because it can help them see better and identify objects and people in the field more quickly. It also relieves them of the worry about lost or damaged glasses.

Usually, LASIK causes some dry eye syndrome directly after surgery, but the condition resolves within a few months. In a small number of cases, however, the dry eye condition following LASIK can become chronic and impact functioning of both civilian and military individuals for as long as nine mo
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Contact: Patti Jacobs
pjacobs12@comcast.net
617-868-0077
Schepens Eye Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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