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Cataract surgery is a safe and most commonly performed eye surgery. But this can lead to certain complications such as dry eyes as the tear film in the eye gets changed with surgery. In most cases, dry eyes are temporary and they go after some days. But, for some people, it can last for a long time. The severity of the dry eyes is based on the type of cataract surgery you had. The doctor suggests several precautions to reduce the chances of dryness after the cataract surgery.

However, the use of medications and following certain home remedies can help prevent pain or discomfort caused by dry eyes.

What Causes Dry Eyes After Cataract Surgery?

There are several reasons for dry eyes following cataract surgery such as the following:

  • Changes in the tear film layer: The tear film layer is responsible for preventing the tears from evaporating. This helps to keep the surface of your eyes smooth. During cataract surgery, the tear film layer gets changed due to an incision or a cut and causes dryness.
  • Corneal nerve damage: These nerves are helpful for tear production, and if they get damaged during surgery, tear production becomes less and leads to dry eyes.
  • Use of eye medications: Following the surgery, the doctor will suggest eye drops to prevent infection, swelling, and pain. But the ingredients in the eye drops may cause irritation and leads to dryness.
  • Exposure to light: A microscope with bright light is used during cataract surgery. This can lower the production of the tear film and reduces goblet cells in the eyes.
  • Inflammation: The inflammation following cataract surgery can affect the production of tears. Hence, it leads to dry eyes.
  • Dry eyes before surgery: If you have dry eyes before surgery, the doctor diagnoses and treats them before performing the surgery. But, the signs of dry eyes can come back even after the surgery.
  • The surgical technique used: Phacoemulsification and small incision cataract surgery (SICS) are the most commonly used techniques for performing cataract surgery. Studies have shown that people who had cataract surgery with SICS have more severe symptoms of dry eyes than phacoemulsification.

Signs or Symptoms of Dry Eyes Following Cataract Surgery

The signs of dry eyes include the following:

  • Eye pain
  • Irritation
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • More sensitivity to light and wind
  • Blurred vision
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Vision changes
  • Mucus in or around the eyes

If you experience any of these signs after cataract surgery, consider visiting your doctor to get an early diagnosis.

How Long Do Dry Eyes Last?

Dry eyes due to cataract surgery are temporary and they will disappear after a few days, weeks, or months. The symptoms of dry eyes may be severe in the first week following cataract surgery. With proper medications, you can get relief from dry eyes within a few months. However, the recovery time is different from one person to another based on the treatment used and their health condition.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Dry Eyes

If the signs of dry eyes are severe after cataract surgery, then you need to visit your doctor to receive proper treatment. The treatment for dry eyes is based on the severity of the signs and dryness you have. The following are the treatment options:

  • Cyclosporine eye drops: These eye drops are helpful to prevent inflammation on the surface of the eye following cataract surgery.
  • Lifitegrast eye drops: Lifitegrast eye drops also help reduce inflammation after cataract surgery, and it is used if the signs of dryness are severe.
  • Artificial tears: Artificial tears are the eye drops that can be applied to your eyes to get additional fluid to your eyes.
  • Punctal plugs: Punctal plugs are small devices that can be inserted into the tear ducts to keep the eye’s surface moist. It also helps to prevent drainage of tears.

Need Assistance for Dry Eyes? Visit Think Eye Hospital Today

If you are planning to undergo cataract surgery or have been experiencing symptoms of dry eyes following cataract surgery, visit Think Eye Hospital today. Think Eye has performed hundreds of cataract surgeries in Hyderabad and our doctors have become an expert in it. We take proper measures to prevent dry eyes after surgery. Even if dry eyes occur after the surgery, we help you get relief from them through proper medications. To discuss your condition with one of our doctors, call us today.