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S. Khanal, A. Tomlinson, L. Esakowitz; Changes in Tear Physiology and Corneal Sensitivity After Phacoemulsification . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5575.
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To identify any changes in tear film physiology and corneal sensitivity after cataract surgery (phacoemulsification) and determine the efficacy of tear supplement in the treatment of resulting dry eye symptoms.
The design of the study was longitudinal, parallel, randomised and single masked. Eighteen Patients (7 males and 11 females, average age 74) undergoing phacoemulsification were recruited and divided in 3 groups of 6. The first two groups were given a tear supplement (Refresh Soothe, Allergan) and saline respectively to use postoperatively. The last group was the control and did not receive any drops. Tear production, evaporation, structure and osmolality along with corneal sensitivity were measured before and 3 days, 2 weeks, 1 month and 3 months after the surgery.
Statistically significant detrimental changes were seen in all parameters of tear physiology and corneal sensitivity threshold immediately after the surgery. Recovery was seen in all of the assessed tear parameters in 1 month. Corneal sensitivity had not returned to normal levels in 3 months, however, there was a trend towards full recovery. There was no significant effect of saline or a tear supplement on the improvement of tear physiology and corneal sensitivity after the surgery.
There is deterioration in tear film properties and also in corneal sensitivity after phacoemulsification. However, a substantial improvement takes place within 3 months of the surgery. Tear supplements may not be required unless the patient has complaints of dry eye.
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