The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog


Abstract: Is cataract surgery the old-but-new LASIK, as regards dry eye?

I think this is the most dramatically worded study I've seen on cataract surgery and dry eye. Way to go Dr Galor! It's definitely making me want to go back and re-read some others to remind myself what the numbers were.

Nothing in this surprises me particularly, but it's really something to see it in print. I'm very pleased to see they used a survey that includes the word burning - that's one of the most common and crippling symptoms for those with severe symptoms, but it is omitted way too often in symptom surveys, as  TFOS DEWS II epidemiology report points out. And I love that the participants are almost all men, who are not the primary dry eye demographic, as it makes the results that much more interesting.

  • 95% of participants were men

  • 1/3 of patients have persistent postsurgical pain

  • Prevalence compared with refractive surgery, e.g. LASIK

Cornea. 2017 Dec 7

Epidemiology of Persistent Dry Eye-Like Symptoms After Cataract Surgery.

Iglesias E1, Sajnani R2, Levitt RC3,4,5, Sarantopoulos CD3, Galor A1,6.



To evaluate the frequency and risk factors for persistent postsurgical pain (PPP) after cataract surgery, defined as mild or greater dry eye (DE)-like symptoms 6 months after surgery. 


This single-center study included 86 individuals who underwent cataract surgery between June and October 2016 and had DE symptom information available 6 months after surgery. Patients were divided into 2 groups: controls were defined as those without DE symptoms 6 months after surgery (defined by a Dry Eye Questionnaire 5 (DEQ5) score


Mean age of the study population was 71 ± 8.6 years; 95% (n = 82) were men. DE-like symptoms were reported in 32% (n = 27) of individuals 6 months after cataract surgery; 10% (n = 8) reported severe symptoms (DEQ5 ≥12). Patients with DE-like symptoms after cataract extraction also had higher ocular pain scores and specific ocular complaints (ocular burning, sensitivity to wind and light) compared with controls with no symptoms. A diagnosis of nonocular pain increased the risk of DE-like symptoms after cataract surgery (odds ratio 4.4, 95% confidence interval 1.58-12.1, P = 0.005). 


Mild or greater PPP occurred in approximately 1/3 of individuals after cataract surgery. Prevalence of severe PPP is in line with that of refractive surgery, dental implants, and genitourinary procedures.