Dry Eye after Eyelid Surgery

By dustinheringer on April 01, 2019


A woman's eyeThere are many surgeries designed to enhance the youthfulness of the face. One of the most popular and effective procedures if cosmetic eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty and eyelift. By treating the upper or lower eyelids, patients can look years younger and more refreshed. Scottsdale, AZ cosmetic surgeon Dr. Dustin Heringer has helped countless patients turn back the clock and fight signs of advanced age.

Side effects are to be expected after any procedure, and eyelid surgery is no exception. That’s why the team here at Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery would like to consider the connection between eyelid surgery and dry eye. We’ll also offer some advice on addressing this post-op side effect.

Is Dry Eye Common After Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery?

It can be. When the eyes are operated on, it can potentially affect normal function of the various structures of the eye. Surgical recovery can also make you more susceptible to environment factors that trigger dry eye attacks.

Why Does Dry Eye Occur After Surgery?

There are a few common reasons for dry eye after cosmetic eyelid surgery. This includes:

  • Changes in Blinking Frequency - Swelling around the eyes after surgery can slow down your normal rate for blinking, which means your eyes are more likely to become dry.
  • Changes in Tear Composition - Surgery on the eyes can impact your tear composition, which can lead to the tears being less effective in lubricating the eyes.
  • Sensitivity to Environmental Factors - After blepharoplasty, your eyes are more sensitive to sunlight, arid conditions, and irritants. These can all cause your eyes to become dry more often.

Risk Factors for Dry Eye After Eyelid Surgery

Common risk factors for increased dry eye after eyelid surgery include:

  • Having upper and lower eyelids operated on simultaneously
  • Existing issues with dry eye syndrome
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Taking birth control or other medications

We can discuss these matters in more detail during the consultation process.

How Long Will the Dry Eye Last?

Thankfully, dry eye after cosmetic eyelid surgery is just temporary. It will last for a few weeks, with gradual improvements week to week as patients recover from the procedure. After a month or so, patients should notice less frequent and/or less severe bouts of dry eye.

Tips for Managing Dry Eye

The best thing a patient can do to manage dry eye after surgery is to use lubricating eyedrops whenever irritation occurs. These artificial tears are readily available at grocery stores and drugstores. Carry the artificial tears with you at all times.

We also recommend that patients wear sunglasses or a hat with a brim to keep the sun out of their eyes whenever they go outdoors. Protecting the eyes from irritants and causes of sensitivity can help prevent dry eye attacks in the first weeks of recovery.

What If My Dry Eye Does Not Improve?

If your dry eye doesn’t improve after several weeks, be sure to speak with your plastic surgeon. Additional treatments for dry eye can be discussed in greater detail as needed.

Learn More About Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery

For more information about eyelid surgery and your many options for facial rejuvenation and enhancement, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic surgeon and skin care expert. The team at Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery is here to help. You can reach our practice by phone at (480) 949-5990.

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