Suffering from allergies can cause uncomfortable ocular conditions like dryness or even conjunctivitis (commonly referred to as “pink eye”). Unfortunately, if you have to wear contact lenses to see clearly, these optical aids can make your allergy symptoms worse. Pollen, dander, and particulate matter can attach to contact lenses and further irritate your eyes. For this reason, many patients who suffer from both refractive errors and chronic allergies pursue LASIK, or laser in-situ keratomileusis, an advanced vision correction procedure. LASIK can enhance both your vision and your overall quality of life by reducing your dependence on contact lenses and alleviating the irritating symptoms associated with them. In the following blog post, we explain the relationship between LASIK and eye allergies, and explain how our Austin ophthalmologists can sharpen your vision with this sophisticated surgery.

Do Eye Allergies Affect LASIK Candidacy?

No. In fact, our ophthalmologists often recommend LASIK surgery as a treatment option for patients struggling with contact lenses and allergies. However, there are certain special considerations prospective LASIK patients with allergies must make. For example, you may need to schedule your procedure at a time other than allergy season, since your eyes will be more prone to inflammation and irritation during this time. Of course, if you wish to pursue LASIK as a remedy for eye allergies exacerbated by contact lenses, you will also need to meet the general candidacy requirements for this procedure. You should:

  • Suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have sufficiently thick corneas
  • Be in good ocular health
  • Maintain a stable optometric prescription to qualify for LASIK

Eye Allergies and Side Effects

Some patients with allergies are concerned that LASIK side effects could be worse for them. While it is true that LASIK can sometimes cause dryness or irritation, a 2001 study published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery found that patients who suffered from allergies were no more prone to LASIK complications than those who did not. In addition, at Broberg Eye Care, we perform wavefront LASIK, a customized procedure that uses a 3D model of your eyes to enhance the accuracy of the surgery and reduce the incidence of side effects.

Our Post-Operative Tips

If you suffer from allergies and have had or plan to undergo LASIK, you should adhere to the following suggestions to ensure a comfortable and quick recovery:

  • Do not, under any circumstances, rub or tug at your eyes, especially for the first few days following your procedure. Although your eyes may feel dry or itchy, moving them could disrupt your healing, impact your results, or increase your risk for infection.
  • Use steroid, allergy, and anti-inflammatory eye drops for several weeks after your LASIK surgery. These will help manage any side effects you experience and, as an added bonus, should also help alleviate any allergy symptoms you regularly suffer.
  • Contact us if you experience persistent discomfort or any other troubling symptoms after your LASIK surgery. Our doctors will be available to address your concerns and monitor your recovery to help ensure you heal successfully.

See More Clearly and Comfortably

If you suffer from allergies and refractive errors, LASIK surgery could help you enjoy sharper eyesight while alleviating unpleasant symptoms. Contact our ophthalmology practice today to learn more about this procedure or schedule a consultation with one of our ophthalmologists.