Currently, SMILE may offer the advantage of decreased dry eye symptoms in the first six months after surgery. Although uncommon with laser eye procedures, postoperative dry eye typically occurs as corneal nerve disruption inhibits corneal sensitivity, leading to a lack of lubrication signalling. It is thought that since fewer corneal nerves are disturbed using SMILE, this leads to a decreased risk of dry eye. However, levels of postoperative dry eye are typically mild regardless of the kind of laser eye surgery. Even after LASIK, dry eye is largely temporary. Six months after surgery, most patients return to their preoperative levels of dryness regardless of the procedure. In the long term, SMILE has no significant benefit over LASIK in terms of dry eye.