Can Allergies Hurt My Chances of Having LASIK?


If you’re considering LASIK, you may wonder if you’re a good candidate. Most people with a refractive error can safely have LASIK.

About 85% of people who have a consultation end up qualifying. Generally, if you’re in good health and don’t have any conflicting eye conditions, you’ll qualify for LASIK.

But what about minor eye conditions like allergies? While allergic symptoms can be uncomfortable, they don’t always mean that you can’t have a safe and comfortable recovery.

Allergies and Dry Eye

If you have allergic conjunctivitis, which is an allergic reaction in your eyes, you may already be familiar with the symptoms. These can include itching, burning, watering, and even mucus buildup.

They can occur around any allergen, but one of the more common allergens is pollen. Pollen is most abundant during the spring.

But another condition with similar symptoms is dry eye syndrome. It occurs when your eyes aren’t getting enough moisture.

It’s common to have dry eyes in warmer weather, so it can even coincide with seasonal allergies. But where allergies usually cause an itchy feeling, having dry eyes may feel more like burning or like there’s grit in your eyes.

Anything that interferes with your eye’s ability to create tears can affect your ability to heal after a refractive procedure. If you have dry eyes, they need treatment before getting LASIK. If you have allergies, you also need to deal with them before you can have LASIK.

Pre-LASIK Treatment

Before you have LASIK, your eyes need to be healthy, which means they need to produce adequate tears. If your tear production isn’t sufficient, you may be able to treat your eyes with simple environmental and lifestyle changes.

For example, using a humidifier indoors, drinking plenty of water, and eating food rich in omega-3 fatty acids can make a difference. These simple changes may be able to help your tear production.

Both allergies and dry eye can affect your eye health, and they can also feed into each other. If you know you have allergies, you should make sure you have a way to manage them.

If over-the-counter medication doesn’t work for you, talk to your eye doctor about a prescription for stronger allergy medication. But the best thing to do when it comes to allergies and LASIK is to avoid the allergens altogether.

Allergy Avoidance

If you have a pollen allergy, you should have LASIK after allergy season is over. Some people are more affected in the spring, while others are more affected in the fall.

Whatever the case, talk to your eye doctor about scheduling LASIK at the end of the season. If your allergies are related to other common allergens, like dander and dust, it may be more tricky to avoid them.

But if you do your best and have allergy medication on hand, you should be able to have a smooth recovery from LASIK.

The bottom line is, if you have allergies, you can still have LASIK, you just need to plan ahead a little more.

Thinking that LASIK could be right for you? Schedule a LASIK consultation at Berg Feinfield Vision Correction in Beverly Hills, CA, today!