There are many options for facial rejuvenation worth considering. Rather than undergo a full facelift, many patients benefit from cosmetic eyelid surgery (also known as an eye lift and blepharoplasty). It’s an ideal procedure for drooping, sagging, or puffy eyelids.
Dr. Brian F. Burns goes over all of the potential side effects from surgery during the consultation process. Many Victoria, TX eyelid surgery patients are surprised to learn that dry eye is a common post-surgical side effect. Let’s go over the causes of post-op dry eye and what can be done to manage this side effect.
Causes of Post-Surgical Dry Eye
There are many reasons why you may experience post-op dry eye. Some of the most common reasons we’ve noted at our Victoria plastic surgery center include the following:
- Reduced Blinking Frequency - When you’ve had your eyelids operated on, this tends to result in reduced blink frequency. The less you blink, the more likely you are to experience a bout of dry eye.
- Changes to Tear Composition - Tears consist of a combination of water, mucus, and oil. After eyelid surgery, the composition of your tears may be altered until you fully heal, making dry eye more likely.
- Issues with Tear Ducts - In rare cases, the eyelid surgery may have affected your tear ducts, causing them to drain eye moisture away too soon.
- Exacerbates Existing Dry Eye - If you had mild, moderate, or chronic dry eye prior to your eyelid surgery, the recovery process could exacerbate these issues.
Other factors can also contribute to the likelihood of dry eye, including hormone changes associated with certain medications and the natural aging process.
How Long Will My Dry Eye Last?
Typically patients will experience dry eye for up to several weeks after their eyelid surgery. That said, the dry eye will become less of an issue as the healing process continues. Improvements will be noticeable from week to week.
Tips for Managing Dry Eye
To help manage dry eye symptoms, we recommend the following:
- Carry Liquid Tears at All Times - Using over-the-counter eye drops to hydrate your eyes and reduce irritation is essential after eyelid surgery. Carry these lubricating eye drops with you wherever you go.
- Avoid Looking at Screens for Too Long - Staring at screens for long periods of time can alter your blink frequency. We recommend that you avoid prolonged staring at screens. Every 20 minutes of staring at a screen, look away for 20 seconds at an object 20 feet away. This will help maintain normal blink frequency to combat dry eye and avoid eye fatigue.
- Avoid Dry, Dusty, Smoky, and Windy Environments - Dusty, smoky, and arid environments tend to trigger dry eye attacks. Be sure to avoid these kinds of places as much as possible.
- Wear Sunglasses When You Are Outdoors - To protect your eyes from the sun while healing and to avoid the loss of eye moisture, wear sunglasses when you are outside. It’s a simple way to ensure proper recovery and comfort.
What if My Dry Eye Doesn’t Improve?
If your dry eye does not improve after a few weeks, be sure to contact our Victoria plastic surgery center about these issues. We can look into the matter in greater detail and help develop an idea treatment for you and your needs.
Contact South Texas Plastic Surgery
To learn more about eyelid surgery and your many other options for facial rejuvenation, be sure to contact a board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon. Dr. Burns can be reached by phone at (361) 576-1975.