Why Is My Eye Red After LASIK?

red spot on eye after lasik

LASIK is one of the most common eye surgeries with around 20 million surgeries performed since it was first introduced in 1989. It’s both a safe and efficient procedure that helps reduce the reliance on your glasses or contacts to see clearly. It can be a significant lifestyle change, but despite its routine and safe nature, there are sometimes minor after-effects that can be worrisome if you’re not prepared. The most common is a red eye after a LASIK procedure.

What Causes Red Eye After LASIK?

During LASIK surgery, a flap is created in the topmost layer of the cornea, and the corneal contour is reshaped with a programmed laser. As a response to this, the eye can turn red for varying reasons.

Common Types of Red Eye After LASIK

There are two common types of red eye that become present after LASIK surgery. The first is blood spots in the whites of the eyes, and the other is redness due to dry eyes from the surgery. 

Blood Spots 

After surgery, little drops of blood may appear, typically in the white parts of the eye. This is common, and not nearly as scary as it looks. These drops of blood are just a sign that there were some blood vessels that were broken during the surgery. These will usually go away on their own within a couple of weeks. 

Dry Eye

Dry eyes are typically due to issues with eye moisture after the surgery. A side effect of the procedure is that the tear production can take a while to go back to normal, generally within a couple of weeks. Here are the common  symptoms of dry eye:

  • Itchiness
  • Burning
  • Dryness
  • Light Sensitivity

red eye from lasik

How to Treat Red Eye After LASIK

After surgery, there are a couple of things that you can do to take care of your eyes and reduce any discomfort. If you have red eyes due to dry eye, it’s important to apply lubricating eye drops frequently, especially when you are experiencing any dry, itchy, or burning sensations. It can also be beneficial to take Omega-3 fatty acids to aid with recovery. 

Another practice that can help ease dry eyes is that if you’re using screens for a longer time, make sure to take a 20-second break about every 20 minutes by looking at a spot in the distance. It’s also important to consciously make sure that you are blinking regularly while staring at a screen, as longer spaces between blinks can cause dry eyes, as well. 

If you have blood spots in the white of your eyes, there is no treatment. The spots should just disappear on their own as part of the typical recovery process. 

Read more: How Long After LASIK Can I Drive?

Is It Common?

Seeing red eyes after LASIK surgery can be very unsettling, but it’s nothing to worry about. Red eyes from dry eyes, as well as blood spots in the whites of the eye, are extremely common after LASIK surgery. About 50% of all patients report having dry eyes after the surgery, resulting in red eyes. Both of these side effects should start to improve from days to weeks after the surgery. If more time has passed, and they have not improved at all, it’s a good idea to get them checked out.  

What If My Red Eyes Don’t Improve?

If your red eyes are not improving after the designated time, it’s essential to set up an appointment as soon as possible. A specialist will be able to tell you if there is reason for concern or about any treatments available to speed along your recovery. Finding the cause earlier rather than later is helpful in improving your comfort and overall vision health. 

Meet the Specialists at Clear Choice Laser

The trusted experts at Clear Choice Laser can help you make a decision about whether or not LASIK is right for you, make sure you are as comfortable and informed as possible during your surgery, and assist with aftercare, as well as any complications that may arise. 

Are you in need of comprehensive eye care or surgery? Contact Us to set up an appointment, discuss your options, or learn about prices. 


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