Dry Eye after Eyelid Surgery

By Dr. Fredric Newman on September 26, 2018

Ophthalmologist administering eye drops for female patientPatients with saggy, droopy skin around the eyes can benefit from eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, at our Darien, CT practice. This procedure eliminates excess skin and fat around the eyes to reduce signs of aging and increase visibility in some patients.

Like any treatment, eyelid surgery can be accompanied by certain side effects. One of the most common side effects after blepharoplasty is dry eye syndrome. Here, Dr. Fredric Newman discusses dry eye after eyelid surgery and explains how patients can manage these symptoms during recovery.

Why Is Dry Eye Common after Eyelid Surgery?

There are a few reasons why dry eye may occur after eyelid surgery. First, swelling of the eyelids is common after blepharoplasty. This temporarily hinders your normal blinking ability. As a result, your cornea may not be adequately coated with tear film.

In other instances, the composition of your tear film may change, triggering dry eyes.

A less common occurrence, the tear duct may be affected in patients undergoing lower eyelid surgery, as the incision runs along the lower lash line.

Exposure to certain environmental elements, such as dry heat or wind, can exacerbate these irritating symptoms.

The good news is that dry eye after eyelid surgery is typically short-lived. With some help from your doctor, you should be able to effectively treat these side effects and enjoy a speedy recovery.

Who Is at Risk?

Individuals with the highest risk of dry eye after eyelid surgery are those who opt to have both the upper and lower lids treated.

Patients who have previously dealt with dry eye syndrome or complications with contact lenses may also be at a greater risk.

In general, women who are starting birth control or going through menopause may be more susceptible to dry eyes, due to hormone changes in the body.

Before undergoing blepharoplasty, Dr. Newman will perform a comprehensive assessment to determine your risk for dry eye. If any concerns are noted, he will speak with you in detail about your options.

Managing Dry Eye Symptoms

For the first few weeks after eyelid surgery, dry eye symptoms are expected. These can be successfully managed with over-the-counter eye drops or ointments that help lubricate the eyes. Typically, we recommend that patients use artificial tears liberally throughout the day and administer a soothing ointment just before bedtime. To reduce initial swelling and inflammation, apply cold compresses to the eyes in 20-minute increments. This will help restore your natural blinking ability.

If dry eye symptoms linger for more than eight weeks, Dr. Newman can recommend some alternative options to alleviate your discomfort. In some cases, we may recommend that you wear temporary contact lenses to increase moisture on the surface of the eyes.

Contact Our Practice to Learn More

Are you experiencing dry eye symptoms following eyelid surgery? If so, we can help alleviate the irritation and discomfort. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Newman can offer recommendations for a comfortable, successful recovery. To learn more, call our practice at (203) 656-1517 or contact us online anytime.

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Dr. Newman listened but he also educated me. In addition to his results, it really came down to the confidence that he instilled in me. - Kim, Actual Patient

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