Blepharoplasty, more commonly known as eyelid surgery, can eliminate sagging and drooping tissues in the eyelids that can make us appear tired or aged. In extreme cases, sagging eyelids can even affect a patient’s vision. Unfortunately, a common side effect of eyelid surgery is dry eye. Dr. Paul Silverstein can explain the link between eyelid surgery and dry eye to patients at our Oklahoma City, OK office. He will also carefully evaluate each patient to assess his or her risk for developing dry eye after the procedure.
Patients with Existing Dry Eye
If you already suffer from dry eye, this does not mean you cannot undergo eyelid surgery. If you have not yet sought treatment for your dry eye condition, Dr. Silverstein may suggest treatment options before undergoing eyelid surgery. This can help limit your risk of worsened symptoms after surgery. It is important to have patience, as finding a treatment that works may take some time.
While there are numerous eye drops and ointments available, those alone may not relieve your symptoms. Dr. Silverstein may also recommend post-surgical contact lenses or temporary duct plugs following your blepharoplasty to reduce any potential dry eye symptoms.
Cause of Dry Eye after Blepharoplasty
Whether you struggled with dry eye prior to your surgery or not, it is a potential side effect. Dry eye following eyelid surgery is usually the result of inflammation of your tear-producing glands. This inflammatory process is generally normal and part of the healing process. As the swelling of these glands subsides, so too should the symptoms of dry eye.
Dry Eye Risk Factors
One of the factors that can contribute to dry eye after blepharoplasty is age. As we age, our tear production and tear quality can decrease. While this may result in only mild dry eye symptoms for patients before surgery, your post-surgical dry eye symptoms may be enhanced. Most candidates for eyelid surgery are patients in their 40s, 50s, or 60s whose tear production may have already begun to decrease. This increases their risk for post-surgical dry eye complications.
Certain medical conditions and medications can also lead to dry eye complications after a blepharoplasty. Patients with thyroid disease or rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to experience temporary dry eye symptoms. Medications such as antihistamines and antidepressants can also cause these complications.
Reducing the Risk of Dry Eye
It is important to tell Dr. Silverstein about any medical conditions you have or medications you are taking. You should also inform him of any previous dry eye symptoms you may have experienced. He may recommend post-surgical eye drops or ointments to limit dry eye complications. If your symptoms persist after surgery, he may recommend contact lenses or other treatment to help prevent dryness. Although dry eye is frustrating, it is important to remember that it is temporary. Most patients see relief within several weeks.
Find Out if Eyelid Surgery Is Right for You
If you are considering eyelid surgery but have concerns about side effects such as dry eye, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Silverstein.