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cataract surgery and dry eye syndrome

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  • cataract surgery and dry eye syndrome

    I am seeking information about a link between dry eye syndrome and allergic reaction to the plastic lenses implanted during cataract surgery. I have been told repeatedly that the surgery could not possibly cause my extreme dry eye condition, but the fact is, I began suffering right after the operation. I have heard that people are now being diagnosed with allergy to the artificial lens, but I have not found any reference or credible information about such link.
    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Hi Marganit-
    I have had one cataract operation. I had dry eyes prior to this because of lasik surgery 5 years prior. I don't believe that cataract surgery "couldn't possibly cause dry eye." But, since I'm not a dr, my opinion isn't worth much. Keep searching, your doctor will never admit this "may" be the cause.

    There may be a few others here with cataract surgery and hopefully they'll post, or those with knowledge you're seeking. Lucy
    Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

    The Dry Eye Queen


    • #3
      I have never heard of an allergic reaction to a lens implant. Checked around and the closest I could get was "Any chance they're really talking about uveitis?" (which is a complication of cat surgery). I think this is a good question for Dr. Latkany's Q&A forum.
      Rebecca Petris
      The Dry Eye Zone


      • #4
        In over twenty years I have never heard of a reaction to IOLs (lens implants). If your surgeon did the cataract procedure and performed LRIs (limbal relaxing incisions) to correct astigmatism you may have a similar situation to LASIK patients. The corneal nerves running to your cornea may be severed. This reduces corneal sensation to the brain and can alter the tear output from your lacrimal glands.


        • #5

          Similar to the poster above, there are (to my knowledge), no reports of true allergic reactions to lens implant materials. What I think happens in situations like these is that you had a borderline dry eye to start with (but very possibly completely comfortable). The surgery and post-op period pose multiple "insults" to the eye which may include - antiseptic solution to prevent infection, the cataract incision (no matter how small), and generally multiple preserved eyedrops used afterward. All these things have pushed the balance over to a symptomatic dry eye state. It's not common, but I've certainly seen it happen. Fortunately it generally gets better with typical dry eye treatments.


          • #6
            lens implant sensitivity

            I have had bilateral cataract removal and lens implants (at about age 44). I had experienced a couple mild episodes of dry eye symptoms before, but much much worse in the several years following. I am the type that seems oversensitive to everything! In the year following my lens implants I developed "pearls" in both. This was explained as protein coating the back side of the lens. These were removed by lasering a hole in the back for me to see through, but they still remain around the hole and cause night time vision problems due to glare from lights. I felt the pearls were my body's defense against the material of the lens. If it made pearls in the back what was it doing in the front? Wondering if anyone else has had to deal with pearls as well as severe & painful dry eyes.