Monday, July 21, 2014

Cataract Surgery & Dry Eye Information

Birmingham Cataract Surgeons Marc Michelson, M.D. & Tyler Hall, M.D. wish to share information about dry eye for those contemplating cataract surgery. How are dry eye and cataract surgery related? Dry eye can be a temporary condition that cataract patients experience. As a cataract eye surgery patient, however, one should not be worried as developing a dry eye after cataract surgery is actually somewhat common.

A Prospective Health Assessment of Cataract Patients Ocular Surface (PHACO) studied the tear film in a cataract aged population group and found that 60-75% had a meaningful deficiency in their tear film testing BEFORE cataract surgery. What are the elements of cataract surgery that might exacerbate dry eye? First, although cataract surgery occurs inside the eye and therefore does not disrupt the cornea to a great degree, the surgery still does require an incision to be made into the cornea in order to reach the interior of the eye. This incision has the possibility of disturbing corneal nerves that signal reflex tearing and tear film production. Additionally, some of the solutions used during the cataract procedure can indeed result in a dry eye.

What are the specific symptoms of dry eye? Symptoms vary by individual, yet reported complaints range from a gritty or sandy feeling on the surface of the eye, excess tearing, drying and burning sensations which overall can combine to impact a patient’s quality of vision. Thankfully, treatment options exist to combat these symptoms, which depending upon the severity of dry eye experienced, begin with specialized artificial tear lubricants and solutions, tiny punctal plugs to help you retain tears and prescription medication that stimulates production of your own tears. If these initial steps are not successful in providing relief, there are more technological approaches, such as lasers and other methods to treating underlying blepharitis, eyelid gland problems or eyelid inflammation that can contribute to dry eye as well.

If you or someone you know is experiencing dry eye symptoms after cataract surgery, please schedule an appointment at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham by calling 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205