Cyclosporine superior to artificial tears for treating dry eye after cataract surgery

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Key takeaways:

  • Cyclosporine 0.05% conferred significantly higher tear breakup time compared with artificial tears.
  • Schirmer’s values and VAS scores did not show statistically significant differences.

Cyclosporine 0.05% outperformed artificial tears in improving tear film quality and stability in the treatment of dry eye disease after cataract surgery, according to a study published in Annals of Medicine & Surgery.

“Previous studies have determined different management strategies for dry eyes using cyclosporine 0.05% or artificial tears,” Hanieh Ahmadi, MD, a faculty member in the department of ophthalmology at Bu-Ali Sina Hospital in Iran, and colleagues wrote. “However, direct comparisons of the clinical efficacy of cyclosporine in enhancing tear secretion and artificial tears in increasing tear volume for the treatment of dry eye after cataract surgery have rarely been reported.”

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Cyclosporine 0.05% was more effective than artificial tears in improving tear stability after cataract surgery. Image: Adobe Stock

The prospective, double-masked randomized trial included 60 eyes from 60 patients (women, n = 32; mean age, 64.15 ± 9.17 years, range 45-90 years) with cataracts. Following cataract surgery, patients were prescribed either cyclosporine 0.05% or artificial tears, administered four times daily, for dry eye disease management.

After 1 month, researchers assessed each treatment through tear breakup time, Schirmer’s tests and a visual analogue scale (VAS) questionnaire. Secondary assessments included refraction and corrected and uncorrected distance visual acuity.

The cyclosporine group had significantly higher mean TBUT than the artificial tear group (P = .004), but there were no statistically significant differences in mean Schirmer’s values or VAS responses. These findings persisted after the researchers adjusted for type of cataract, age and sex.

There also were no visual acuity or spherical equivalent differences between the groups.

“This study demonstrates the beneficial effect of cyclosporine in reducing dry eye symptoms after cataract surgery due to its anti-inflammatory properties and improvement in tear secretion,” the researchers wrote. “Our findings suggest that cyclosporine may have additional benefits over artificial tears, particularly an improvement in TBUT and its potential to improve tear film stability.”

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