Dry Eye Disease following LASIK, PRK, and LASEK: An Observational Cross-Sectional Study

Tal Yahalomi, Asaf Achiron, Roee Arnon, Nir Stanescu, Joseph Pikkel

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2 Scopus citations


Dry eye disease is the most frequent non-refractive postoperative complication following refractive surgery. This prospective study investigated the development of dry eye disease after three common refractive laser surgeries: laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), and laser-assisted sub-epithelial keratectomy (LASEK). Patients who underwent uneventful refractive surgery in a single private medical center between May 2017 and September 2020 were included. Ocular surface disease was graded according to the Dry Eye Workshop severity (DEWS) classification. Patients were examined 6 months following refractive surgery. The analysis included 251 eyes of 137 patients: 64 eyes (36 patients) after LASEK, 90 eyes (48 patients) after PRK, and 97 eyes (53 patients) after LASIK. At 6 months post-surgery, the DEWS score was higher for the LASIK than the PRK and LASEK groups (p = 0.01). For the total cohort, severe DEWS score (grades 3 and 4) at 6 months post-surgery was correlated with female gender (p = 0.01) and to the amount of refractive correction (p < 0.001), but not to age (p = 0.87). In conclusion, LASIK surgery and female gender were associated with dry eye. Patients, particularly those with high myopia, should be counseled about the risk of developing dry eye after refractive surgeries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3761
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 30 May 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • Dry Eye Workshop severity score (DEWS)
  • PRK
  • dry eye disease
  • ocular surface disease
  • refractive surgery


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