Do corneal nerves regrow after LASIK surgery?

Though there have been a lot of advancements in the medical field, there is always a chance for some mistakes. The same is true of LASIK. No matter how sophisticated the equipment used during your surgery is, complications are still possible. This article will examine one of the side effects that LASIK patients may experience. Read on to the end to learn more about such occurrences after LASIK surgery.

LASIK: What Is It?

In order to understand the issues, we must first examine LASIK surgery’s purpose and method. Patients with one of the three eye vision defects—myopia (nearsightedness), hypermetropia (farsightedness), or astigmatism—can have LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses, performed on their eyes. The cornea must be reshaped during the surgical procedure to achieve clear vision. In order to do this, some of the tissues at the cornea’s tip are also removed. There are different types of it available—with the blade or without it, in modern technique or the traditional procedure.

Anyone over the age of 18 can have this surgery performed to achieve a perfect vision of 20/20 vision if the surgery is performed correctly and using the appropriate equipment. You do not need to carry your glasses or contact lenses around. 

How LASIK is Performed and What Its Effects Are

A medical professional will first numb your eyes before the procedure begins. A femtosecond laser is then used to modify the cornea in order to restore your vision to its original state. When the procedure is finished, you will be able to see the results right away. 

It would be best to take a brief nap after the procedure is complete to allow your eyes to adjust. After that, keep the safety eye shield on. The additional safety measures you should take immediately on the same day include:

  • Don’t drive back home by yourself.
  • Keep airborne particles like pollen, dust, and other irritants out of your eyes. 
  • Spend as little time as possible looking at computer screens.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, especially if you’re using unclean hands, as doing so increases your risk of damaging your eye and contracting an infection if you end up moving your corneal flap.
  • Avoid washing your eyes with tap water because it is not sterile.

You’ll frequently forget something and hurt your eyes,

Endangering them further, or you’ll run into problems while performing the procedure. You might experience some common abnormalities after surgery, including extremely dry eyes or an itching sensation, chronic pain, eye infections, and some visual eye issues. For most people, these effects are temporary and usually last for a few hours or days. You must know that you shouldn’t rub your eyes if you want healthy eyes.

These issues are permanent for one in ten people. These people are typically elderly patients who may also suffer from presbyopia, a common vision issue in older people. Other patients who did not receive the proper surgery may experience this issue if there is any damage to the corneal nerves during the LASIK procedure, which could result in the tear duct being permanently damaged. You might stop crying as a result of this reason.

During the procedure, there’s also a chance that the corneal nerve in the corneal flap’s subepithelial stroma area will also sustain damage. The region is only about 50 microns from the corneal surface. 

Corneal Nerves

The human cornea has the highest innervation density, which is between 300 and 600 times denser than skin and 20 to 40 times that of pulp. The ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve, which innervates the cornea, has densely packed nerve fibres. The cornea is susceptible to external stimuli due to this dense sensory innervation. It is a characteristic that is crucial for promoting tear secretion, maintaining average physiologic balance, and setting off aversion reflexes that serve to protect the eye.

Do Corneal Nerves Regrow After LASIK?

Following LASIK, there is a 90% reduction in the quantity of subbasal and stromal nerve fibre bundles in the corneal flap. Usually, six months after the surgery, the cornea regenerates. The number of nerve fibres in the superficial stroma area increased significantly two to four weeks after the procedure. Additionally, after eight weeks, the fibres’ density increases. But as discussed, this might not be the case for everyone. At this point, they may suffer from some problems. If this happens to you, do not ignore the effects and immediately consult your doctor. You might also need to go under surgery.

It would be best if you took additional precautions for months in addition to the same-day ones in order to prevent this issue. These precautions include: 

  • For a week after surgery, refrain from exercising.
  • Keep swimming off-limits for three weeks.
  • After surgery, refrain from applying eye makeup for a month.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend staring at computer screens.
  • Your vision shouldn’t be compromised by extended eye strain.
  • Take great care when washing your hair to avoid getting any soap or water in your eyes. 
  • Make frequent use of the eye drops and artificial tears prescribed for you.
  • Always wear sunglasses when you are out in the sun, as too much brightness may cause harm to your eyes.

We, humans, are bound to make mistakes, no matter how far we progress. Many of them are avoidable if we take good care of ourselves. Others, on the other hand, are medical mistakes that can be corrected with another surgery, but there are still 0.1% of those who cannot be treated even at this late stage. Hopefully, more advances will be made, and the likelihood of that merger is no treatable problem becoming less likely.

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