Clin Exp Optom. 2005 Mar;88(2):89-96.

comparison of outcomes for Asian and Caucasian eyes.

Albietz JM, Lenton LM, McLennan SG.

Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

BACKGROUND: Dry eye is a common complication of LASIK surgery. Our clinical impression was that post-LASIK dry eye was more problematic for our Asian patients. The aim of this study was to determine if dry eye after LASIK is more prevalent, more sustained and more severe in Asian eyes compared with Caucasian eyes.

METHODS: This study was based on a retrospective analysis of a clinical database. Data (n = 932 eyes, 932 patients) was collected before and after (week 2 and months 1, 3 and 6) LASIK surgery. Patients were defined as Asian if both parents were of East Asian ethic origin. Assessments included dry eye symptoms, ocular surface staining, tear volume, tear secretion, tear film stability and corneal sensation.

RESULTS: Asian eyes had greater ocular surface staining, poorer tear film stability and lower tear volume before LASIK and at all times after LASIK. Dry eye symptoms occurring 'often or constantly' were more prevalent at all time points after LASIK in Asian eyes. Chronic dry eye persisting six months or more after LASIK was diagnosed in 28 per cent of Asian eyes and 5 per cent of Caucasian eyes (p < 0.001). Asian patients with chronic dry eye were predominantly female, reported dry eye symptoms, had greater ocular surface staining and lower tear secretion, stability and volume before surgery. After LASIK, Asian eyes had a slower return to pre-operative values for ocular surface staining, tear volume and corneal sensation.

DISCUSSION: The risk of chronic dry eye after LASIK was significantly higher in Asian eyes. Contributing factors could include racial differences in eyelid and orbital anatomy, tear film parameters and blinking dynamics and higher attempted refractive corrections in Asian eyes.Chronic dry eye and regression after laser in situ keratomileusis for myopia.