Eye Surgery & Dry Eye Sensations

Eye surgery such as cataract surgery has been reported to cause dry eye sensations, mainly due to tear film instability.[1] A recent study concluded that 42% of people experienced dry eye sensations within one week of undergoing cataract surgery.[1]

One study found that the reason some patients experienced dry eye sensations after cataract surgery was due to the tear film lipid layer becoming significantly thinner.[2] The lipid layer is the most anterior layer of the tear film and plays a vital role in tear film function and stability by preventing tears from evaporating.[3] It is when the tears evaporate that patients start to experience dry eye sensations [4] such as:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Gritty sensation
  • Red eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light

To help with dry eye sensations after cataract surgery, you can use a lubricating eye drop. To find out more about dry eye drops and their benefits, visit


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  1. Ishrat, S. Nema, N. and Chandravanshi, SCL. Incidence and pattern of dry eye after cataract surgery. Saudi J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jan-Mar; 33(1): 34–40.
  2. Kim, J.S. et al Assessment of the Tear Film Lipid Layer Thickness after Cataract Surgery. Semin Ophthalmol. 2018;33(2):231-236.
  3. Isreb, M.A. Correlation of lipid layer thickness measurements with fluorescein tear film break-up time and Schirmer’s test. Eye. 2003; 17: 79-83.
  4. NHS Dry Eyes, Accessed March 2021


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