Extremely Sensitive Eyes Post- Upper and Lower Blepharoplasty

I'm 5 weeks post upper and lower blepharoplasty. There is still swelling and general tightness and my eyes are extremely sensitive to light. My eyes feel dry and gritty and get very red, sore and tired, with often blurred vision. I massage them, use drops, rest them and wear sunglasses. What else can I do to improve this discomfort? Is it possible that my eyes have been damaged? Thanks

Doctor Answers 6

You are experiencing dry eye.

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Generally dry eye does improve to a degree after eyelid surgery.  However, many of these surgeries weaken the function of the eyelids to briskly blink and also move tears around.  You have two issues.  First is immediate eye comfort.  Your general plastic surgeon is likely to minimize your concerns.  I recommend that you seek out your general ophthalmologist for dry eye treatment.  Initially care is focused on drops during the day and ointment at bedtime.  There are many more treatment options if your eyes continue to bother you after you have more fully healed.  So the other issue is long term eye discomfort.  If the surgery has created long term weakness, your dry eye can persist and fail to resolve.  Typically if you are dry at 6 months, you will be burdened with long term dry eye.  There are options for addressing this situation.  The first step is see the general ophthalmologist or cornea specialist for initial care.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Dry eyes after surgery

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It is not uncommon to have dry eyes immediately after blepharoplasty surgery.  Our lids act as windshield wipers over the surface of our eyes.  Now imagine a dirty windshield with poor wiper blades and little water.  While this is not an exact comparison it give you a picture.  It is important to identify if you make enough tears, it the quality of tears is good, if you blink well and if the lid muscle strength is normal.  There are also what we call corneal protective mechanisms which can be assessed which tell us if you have the ability to withstand some of the changes that occur after eyelid surgery.

The good news is most patients get better with time or adapt.  I think a good evaluation by an eye doctor is warranted.  Your surgeon should know someone and refer you.  Hang in there things usually do get better.  Good luck

Guy Massry, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Dry eye symptoms after eyelid surgery

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 What you are describing are symptoms of dry eye or en over exposed cornea after eyelid surgery.  Ask your surgeon for advice on providing moisture and lubrication to your eyes during the post op period...or he/she can refer you to an opthalmologist for this regimen.

Dry Eyes Post Surgery

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I tell my patients that complete healing of the eyelids following upper and lower blepharoplasty can take up to 6 months.  During the early phases of healing, it is very common to experience dry eye symptoms, grittiness and intermittent redness of the eyes.  It is very important to be diligent with ocular lubrication during that time to protect the corneas.  In your case, you may want to add a lubricating ointment, such as Genteal Ointment, to place directly on your eyes before bedtime each night.

Dry eyes after a 4 lid blepharoplasty

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It is not uncommon to experience dryness of the cornea after a 4 lid blepharoplasty.  If you are having sensitivity to light and blurred vision you may have a corneal abrasion.  At this point it would be prudent to be evaluated by an ophthalmologist.  In the mean time you may want to use a product like Genteal moderate and severe drops.  This may help soothe the problem in a few days. 

Dry eyes after blepharoplasty

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Aussie Chick,

Judging from your postoperative bandages, it seems that you had more surgery than just an upper and lower blepharoplasty.

Regardless, it sounds as if you may be experiencing dry eyes.  There are other options aside from artificial tears to treat this issue, and some of these options do not involve more incisional surgery.

I recommend you see your surgeon, or an oculoplastic surgeon or ophthalmologist to discuss treatment options.

Michael McCracken, MD
Lone Tree Oculoplastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.