What is the link between surgery and dry eyes?
Dry eye can be one of the most common complaints following eye surgery. Even in healthy patients with no history of dry eye symptoms, surgical procedures have been found to induce dry eye symptoms.
A healthy tear film plays a crucial role in the healing process
When your tear film is healthy, it protects the cornea, maintains eye comfort and high-quality vision, and promotes wound healing after injury.
In dry eyes, the unhealthy tear film causes irritation, blurred vision and a sub-optimal healing process.
Treatment before surgery can be very important
Modern-day surgery guidelines suggest to check the health of the tear film and treat any signs of dry eye syndrome before surgery. It may be necessary to postpone the surgery until the tear film is stable and controlled.
Staying on the safe side
As with any injury, an eye surgery wound should be protected and treated only with safe and optimal components.
For this reason, modern-day eye lubricants are preservative-free and phosphate-free to avoid any complications.
Preservatives can damage the cells of the eye surface, destroy the natural tear film and be the cause of intolerance reactions.
Phosphates buffers can form insoluble crystals due to the reaction with calcium (which is released from damaged cells of the eye surface). These crystals can impair your vision.
Citrate vs. Phosphate
A safe and beneficial alternative to phosphate buffers is a citrate buffered system. Citrate, as opposed to phosphate, does NOT form insoluble crystals while still maintaining a tolerable pH level.
Apart from avoiding unwanted complications,
citrate buffers have been shown to have a positive effect on wound healing.
Post-surgery indication from Health Canada
HYLO® and HYLO® GEL are the only preservative-free, phosphate-free, citrate-buffered lubricating eye drops that are backed-up with clinical evidence and safety data for treatment after ocular surgeries such as cataract, LASIK and keratoplasty.
References: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17533782/); https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29335106/; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27784985/; BLUMBERG et al.