The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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Report: UV implicated in lasik dry eye?

This is remarkable. I've seen a lot of studies trying to pin down the cause(s) of dry eye after LASIK and it has surprised me how, over time, they're still finding more possible mechanisms. When I come across something this obvious (in a sense) newly discovered it's downright disturbing. Kudos to Dr. Barraquer for taking the time to study this.

OSN Supersite, April 7th
UV protection during LASIK lowers dry eye incidence, surgeon says

Dry eye after LASIK may result from ultraviolet light exposure from the excimer laser itself, according to a speaker here, and UV protection during the excimer laser ablation can lower the incidence of post-LASIK dry eye occurrence by 70%....

"In our clinical surgical experience, we have never seen such a syndrome after penetrating grafts, after lamellar grafts, after ... keratomileusis," she said. "What is the difference then between LASIK ... and grafts or refractive procedures before excimer? Well, the most obvious answer is the excimer laser."

Dr. Barraquer hypothesized that the UV light in the laser interacts with oxygen, producing ozone, and "every pulse is associated with an equal area of collateral damage" to the eye.

In order to test her theory, she conducted a randomized, controlled, open label clinical trial in which she performed LASIK on 300 eyes: 150 with the standard procedure and 150 with her protective procedure....

"With the protected technique you have almost 70% less possibility of getting dry eye syndrome and ... females have three times more possibility of having dry eye syndrome" when they receive the standard treatment, she said.
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