The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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Study: Dry eye after, yes, CATARACT surgery

I really appreciated this study and hope to see more on the subject. I get calls regularly from people who had a cat surgery anywhere from 3-12 months previously, who are experiencing dry eye for the first time, and who have been told flatly by their doctor that cataract surgery is unrelated to dry eye. According to this study... there is enough risk to warrant finding out more and above all to be sensitive to how much BAK is thrown at the cornea postoperatively including strong attention to patient instruction and compliance monitoring.

Investigation of dry eye disease and analysis of the pathogenic factors in patients after cataract surgery.

Li XM, Hu L, Hu J, Wang W. Cornea. 2007 Oct;26(9 Suppl 1):S16-20.

PURPOSE: To study dry eye and analyze pathogenic factors in patients after cataract surgery.

METHODS: A total of 37 patients (50 eyes) were studied by using a 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ25) and Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) 3 days before and 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months after cataract surgery. Slit-lamp microscope examination, cornea and conjunctiva fluorescein staining, tear breakup time (BUT), Schirmer test I (STI), and impression cytology (IC) were carried out at the same time. Cytologic specimens for IC were obtained from the upper lid-covered region, explosive region, and lower lid-covered region of the globe conjunctiva. The average density of goblet cells on these 3 regions was measured, and the pathogenic factors of dry eye after cataract surgery were analyzed.

RESULTS: After cataract surgery, the incidence of dry eye increased dramatically; NEI-VFQ25 and OSDI indicated that most patients developed this symptom after surgery. The lacrimal river line became narrow, and BUT and STI decreased in patients after cataract surgery. IC suggested the presence of serious squamous metaplasia in the epithelial layer of the globe conjunctiva, especially the lower lid region.

CONCLUSIONS: Dry eye can develop or deteriorate after cataract surgery if not treated in time. Misuse of eyedrops is one of the major pathogenic factors that causes dry eye after cataract surgery. Eyedrops should be carefully administered before and after cataract surgery to avoid or reduce the occurrence of dry eye postoperatively.
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