The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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Study: Ocular surgery and dry eye

Minor abstract from a European journal. Nothing earthshattering. The reason I'm posting it is that I find myself increasingly bewildered as to WHY eye surgery patients are not told that they may - and in many cases probably will - experience dry eye either in the short or long term, so that they can be prepared and can learn how to address it before it bushwhacks them with (in some cases) intense pain.

I had a call the other day from a 33-year-old woman who had corneal transplants (advanced keratoconus case) in her 20s. No one ever told her, before OR after her surgeries, how it might affect her tear production; seems I was the first person she had heard say that her current condition did not surprise me given her history. Many of my women readers will be grimacing in sympathy for her increased dry eye susceptibility when they hear she has several young children. For heaven's sake, even LASIK is well known to cause dry eye in a substantial percentage of patients with or without other risk factors - let alone when you cut out a complete corneal button and replace it.

Please doctors, tell patients about dry eye before medically necessary eye surgeries.

The influence of ocular surgery for lacrimal secretion
Samoilă O, Stan C, Vişan O, Crăciun A, Dican L, Mera M
Oftalmologia. 2007;51(3):81-5
Article in Romanian

Dry eye syndrome remains a constant health problem while more and more patients are being involved and final data concerning the etiopathogeny is still missing. This study investigates the hypothesis that ocular surgery inflicts damage on the tear production (regarding quantity, quality or the compositional aspect). Ocular symptomathology was registered with the help of a questionnaire. Lacrimal tests were applied before and after surgery at 6 weeks. Basic and reflex tear secretion was differentiated through Schirmer tests and tear quality was assessed with BUT. Proteomic analysis (global proteins, electrophoresis) and conjunctival biopsy was realized before surgery. Open eye surgery altered tear secretion in 91% of the 22 patients examined.
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