Dry Eye and Canthoplasty

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One of the most irritating side effects of a Canthoplasty is dry eyes. The surgery can cause this side effect because it is effectively exposing more of your eye to the environment. Therefore, there is more chance of them drying up and becoming irritable because more of the eyes natural moisture can evaporate. This can be a temporary side effect or it can last for the long term.

What causes the dry eye?

Because the surgery is carried out on the eyelids, it may affect your blink mechanism. If it weakens the Orbicularis oculi, you may not blink as effectively as you did before the surgery. Therefore, your eyes are open longer and there is more time for the moisture of your eyes to evaporate off the surface. The eyes are in general more open so this can cause dry eye and the eye can become very irritated.

Who will be affected by dry eye?

Anyone who has had surgery on their eyelids may experience dry eye. However, if your eyes are dry before the surgery, there isn’t a good chance that the surgery will aggravate the situation further. Most surgeons will examine your eyes to check that they are in good condition before carrying out the surgery. If you have experienced dry eye in the past or have dry eye before the surgery, it will worsen after the surgery. However, if the dry eye can be treated prior to the surgery, the side effect may be bearable following the procedure.

How is dry eye treated?

Dry eye is a very irritable side effect and can be treated with eye drops and ointments. There are a number of different drops that can be given and your doctor will prescribe you the correct one for you to use. Some are just used to provide moisture to your eyes whilst others such as preservative eye drops can help protect your eyes from bacteria. This type of treatment is effective but long term use can damage the layers of your eyes so talk to your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of your eye drops before you proceed. Some ointments can also be used so that the eye can be lubricated but they may cause blurred vision. 

After your operation, you don’t want to do anything that can aggravate dry eyes. It is best to avoid certain activities for the first two weeks after surgery. Watching TV, reading, using the computer or wearing contact lenses can worsen the problem of dry eyes so if possible, avoid these activities or restrict them to small periods of time.

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