PURPOSE: To evaluate the frequency and risk factors for persistent postsurgical pain (PPP) after cataract surgery, defined as mild or greater dry eye (DE)-like symptoms 6 months after surgery.
METHODS: This single-center study included 86 individuals who underwent cataract surgery between June and October 2016 and had DE symptom information available 6 months after surgery. Patients were divided into 2 groups: controls were defined as those without DE symptoms 6 months after surgery (defined by a Dry Eye Questionnaire 5 (DEQ5) score <6), cases were defined as those with mild or greater DE-like symptoms 6 months after surgery (DEQ5 ≥6).
RESULTS: Mean age of the study population was 71 ± 8.6 years; 95% (n = 82) were men. DE-like symptoms were reported in 32% (n = 27) of individuals 6 months after cataract surgery; 10% (n = 8) reported severe symptoms (DEQ5 ≥12). Patients with DE-like symptoms after cataract extraction also had higher ocular pain scores and specific ocular complaints (ocular burning, sensitivity to wind and light) compared with controls with no symptoms. A diagnosis of nonocular pain increased the risk of DE-like symptoms after cataract surgery (odds ratio 4.4, 95% confidence interval 1.58-12.1, P = 0.005).
CONCLUSIONS: Mild or greater PPP occurred in approximately 1/3 of individuals after cataract surgery. Prevalence of severe PPP is in line with that of refractive surgery, dental implants, and genitourinary procedures.
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