To review published literature concerning cataract surgery and dry eye disease (DED).
A search was undertaken using the following: PubMed (all years), Web of Science (all years), Ovid MEDLINE(R) (1946 to 12 December 2019), Ovid MEDLINE(R) Daily Update 10 December 2019, MEDLINE and MEDLINE non-indexed items, Embase (1974-2019, week 49), Ovid MEDLINE (R) and Epub Ahead of Print, In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations and Daily (1946 to 12 December 2019), CENTRAL (including Cochrane Eyes and Vision Trials Register; Cochrane Library: Issue 12 of 12 December 2019), metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) ( www.controlled-trials.com ), ClinicalTrials.gov ( www.clinicaltrial.gov ) and WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform ( www.who.int/ictrp/search/en ). Search terms included ‘cataract surgery’, ‘phacoemulsification’ and ‘cataract extraction’, combined with ‘dry eyes’ and ‘ocular surface’. Relevant in-article references not returned in our searches were also considered.
Publications identified included systematic reviews, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case series and laboratory-based studies. Published data highlighting the burden of DED both prior and following cataract surgery were reviewed as well as studies highlighting the effects of cataract surgery on the ocular surface, intra-operative measures to reduce deleterious effects on the ocular surface and current evidence on the management options of post-operative DED.
DED is common and can be exacerbated by cataract surgery. Ophthalmologists need to assess for pre-existing DED and instigate treatment before surgery; be aware of reduced accuracy of measurements for surgical planning in the presence of DED; limit intra-operative surgical factors damaging to the ocular surface; and consider management to reduce DED post-operatively.