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Refractive Surgery/Laser Vision Correction

Gender, PRK Associated With Worse Pre- and Postoperative Dry Eye Symptoms

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Because patient-reported symptoms are what affect patients’ daily life, their dry eye experience is a concern for refractive surgery patients. To better understand this experience, a new retrospective case series in the Journal of Refractive Surgery sought to evaluate the factors associated with change in dry eye symptoms following LASIK and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).

Researchers analyzed 13,319 patients who underwent LASIK or PRK between January 2013 and February 2016, and who completed a preoperative and 3-month follow-up patient-reported outcome questionnaire.

Changes in symptoms were affected by gender, procedure (LASIK or PRK), and preoperative symptoms. Results of a multivariate linear regression model showed that women and those who wore contact lenses experienced worse preoperative dry eye symptoms, with more women than men reporting an increase in symptoms at 3-month follow-up (coefficient: 1.76, 95% CI: 0.68 to 2.84, p = 0.001). In addition, patients who underwent PRK were more likely to experience an increase in dry eye symptoms after 3 months (coefficient: 3.99, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.64 to 4.82, p < 0.001). However, those with worse preoperative symptoms experienced improvement in symptoms postoperatively (coefficient: -0.93, 95% CI: -0.97 to -0.90, p < 0.001).

Researchers concluded that the three factors had a significant effect on pre- and postoperative changes in dry eye symptoms in those undergoing LASIK or PRK, but it is possible that these findings could change or disappear with long-term follow up.

Reference:

Schallhorn JM, et al. Effect of gender and procedure on patient-reported dry eye symptoms after laser vision correction. J Refract Surg. 2019;35(3):161-168. doi: 10.3928/1081597X-20190107-01.

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