Itchy, Burning Eyes 2 Months After Blepharoplasty

I had upper/lower bleph done 10 weeks ago today. I had some dry eye issues in the beginning which got better for awhile. I went to an opthamologist that said I had "reduced tearing" and told me to try drops a couple times a day. He said this should resolve over time - no other issues. He even looked under lid to make sure no stiches left behind. I have tried using 5 diff types of drops but all seem to make my eyes feel more irritated. I wear contacts appx 8 hours a day. I have tried drops for contacts (when in) as well as non-contact drops when wearing glasses. Nothing is helping! My eyes feel sticky, burning and have some red lines that weren't there before bleph. Why is this happening, how long will it last, and what can I do???

Doctor Answers 10

Please see a cornea specialist.

Dear Santa Barbara

Dry eye after blepharoplasty is well described.  Some eyelid surgeries are more aggressive than others and can cause more dry eye symptoms.  So while it is true that dry eye symptoms do generally settle down within 4 to 6 weeks, this assumes that an aggressive lower blepharoplasty was not performed.  These procedures can damage the muscle the helps blink the eyelids and helps close the eye.  Similarly an upper blepharoplasty generally has no bearing on eye comfort after this time period unless aggressive work was performed to reduce the redundant skin and muscle in the upper eyelid.  General ophthalmologists are not always a focused on corneal drying as they should be.  Certainly the recommendation of using drops twice a day is not that helpful.  Also the contact wetting solution is not optimal.  A cornea specialist will be much more attuned with you dry eye concerns and have a more comprehensive approach to making the eyes more comfortable.  

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Red irritated eyes after bleph

Patients sometimes get dry eyes after blepharoplasty and some people are more pre-disposed to having this happen than others.   However this is something that should should feel better with eye drops.   I agree that I would recommend seeing an opthomologist again to make sure there is nothing else causing your discomfort.


Dr. Cat Begovic M.D.

Catherine Huang-Begovic, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Itchy, burning eyes 2 months after blepharoplasty

Here are a couple of things to think about:

1. You should stop wearing contact lenses until your situation resolves.

2. It sounds as though you may be allergic to the lubricants you are placing in your eyes.

I think you should stop all drops, etc., and arrange to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

While you are waiting for your consult you might consider taping your lids closed overnight to keep your corneas from drying while you sleep.

Good luck!

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Dry eyes can be a problem

Dry eyes after blepharoplasty are not uncommon leading to dryness and irritation of the vulnerable cornea, due in part to temprary incomplete lid closure and  incomplete muscle function.  If you had a preexisting dry eye tendancy, the symptoms can be even worse.  To treat your irritative symptoms and prevent severe inflammatory changes of the corneal surface, it is most important to protect your eyes from drying with frequent eye drops during the day and soothing eye ointments at night, eye squeezing and massage exercises as well as possible temporary taping your lids closed at night or even temporarily partially suturing your lids.

You should consult frequently with your surgeon as well as an opthalmologist who will help with management and treatment suggestions.  Often times, the condition can be self-limited and although 10 weeks seems like a long time, it can occasionally take several months to normalize to your baseline. 

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Dry Eyes After Blepharoplasty

Dry eye syndrome is a very well known postoperative effect after Blepharoplasty.  It affects almost everyone after upper eyelid Blepharoplasty and can last for weeks due to lessened tear production and interference with tear film mechanics.  However, patients who have a pre-existing dry eye syndrome have a much more prolonged period of discomfort.  The first thing I would recommend is that you discontinue use of your contact lens, secondly I would double up on whatever form of artificial tears you have been using, and thirdly I would see your Ophthalmologist for further monitoring and advice.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Burning eyes after blepharoplasty.

You should not have this now. You need to see an ophthalmologist to examine yours eyes and cornea to  make sure they are normal.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Dry eyes

Having some dry eyes is not uncommon after upper eyelid blepharoplasty and/or ptosis surgery.  The eyes are more open from these surgeries and hence, the eyes get more exposed to air, and get dryer.  Using frequent lubrication is recommended.  There are other options as well.  Recommend evaluation by an ophthalmologist and/or oculoplastic surgeon.

Dr Taban

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Itchy Eyes After Blepharoplasty Surgery

It's not unusual for patients to develop dry, burning, itching eyes following blepharoplasty surgery. In most cases, this problem resolves in 2 to 3 weeks, but in rare cases may persist for longer periods of time.

A variety of factors can contribute to eye dryness. These include skin tightness, muscle weakness, ectropian formation and damage to the lacrimal gland. It's important to address these problems as soon as possible to avoid inflammation and damage to the cornea.

The vast majority of patients respond to conservative management. This typically involves the use of drops and lubricants. In some cases, it may be necessary to use lacrimal plugs.

It's important to maintain close contact with your plastic surgeon. If you fail to see improvement, it might be appropriate to consult an ophthalmologist as well.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Itchy, burning eyes 2 months after a blepharoplasty

  Itchiness and burning 2 months after a blepharoplasty does not sound like a normal progression of the healing process, so it is best to go in and see a ophthalmologist for a full examination of the eye

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Post Blepharoplasty Dry Eye

Dry eye is a common occurence after blepharoplasty.  Some patients have difficulty with the preservative in most artificial tears.  Try preservative free artificial tears.  Also, you need to see a general ophthalmologist or cornea specialist.  One option they may try is placing a plug in your tear drainage canal to allow your tears to remain on the ocular surface.

Michael McCracken, MD
Lone Tree Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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.