Dealing with Dry Eye after Eyelid Surgery

By The Landings Surgical Centre on March 25, 2019


Woman’s eyeLoose, saggy skin along the upper or lower eyelid tends to make a person look older and tired. The plastic surgeons at The Landings Surgical Centre can perform blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, to remove excess skin and give the eyes a fresher, more youthful appearance.

As patients recovers from eyelid surgery, they may experience a number of side effects. One side effect that is fairly common following eyelid surgery is dry eye. Dry eye can make the eyes feel gritty, itchy, and uncomfortable.

Fortunately, dry eye is a short-lived condition for most eyelid surgery patients. Still, it is important for patients to understand how to care for their eyes while they are experiencing dry eye symptoms. Patients who are concerned about the risk of dry eye after eyelid surgery at our Halifax, NS plastic surgery center can learn more about the condition here.

Why Is Dry Eye So Common after Eyelid Surgery?

There are several factors that can lead to dry eye after eyelid surgery.

The most common cause of dry eyes following blepharoplasty is inflammation. The lids are typically swollen as patients recover from their eyelid procedure. Inflammation will not only irritate the eyes, but it can prevent the eyes from closing completely. If the lids do not completely cover the surface of the eye when a person blinks, then tears and lubricants won’t be adequately spread, and the eyes may be left more dry than usual.

Additionally, when eyelid surgery is performed, other structures of the eye may be temporarily affected. For instance, the incision that is made for lower eyelid surgery may impact the tear duct. This can temporarily affect the quantity or quality of the tears being produced.

Finally, when upper eyelid surgery is performed, the muscles that control the opening and closing of the eyelid can be left weak for several months. As these muscles regain strength, a person may blink less regularly.

How Long Will Dry Eye Last?

The duration of dry eye symptoms will depend on what is causing the condition, and how quickly a patient heals from the eyelid procedure.

In many cases, dry eye resolves within a few weeks. For some, dry eye may last a little longer. It can take a few months for inflammation to completely subside, for muscles to strengthen, and for the eyes to feel completely back to normal.

Managing Dry Eye Symptoms

There are steps a patient can take to minimize irritation caused by dry eye.

Artificial tears are the best treatment for dry eye symptoms. Artificial tears can be used frequently throughout the day or as needed to restore moisture to the eyes.

Since inflammation is a leading cause of dry eye after eyelid surgery, we also urge patients to use ice packs to reduce swelling.

Finally, patients should avoid situations that can worsen dry eye symptoms. This includes dry, dusty environments and prolonged time in front of a television or computer screen.

Contact Us

If you are concerned with droopy eyelids or heavy undereye bags, you may be an ideal candidate for eyelid surgery. To learn more about this procedure, or any of the other cosmetic treatments offered at The Landings Surgical Centre, contact us online at your earliest convenience or call 902-492-2007 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced plastic surgeons.

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JoAnne Reid, Nursing Director, The Landings Surgical Centre

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