Dry eye disease (DED) after cataract surgery has become a critical concern, and various therapeutic options have been developed. Recently, preservative-free diquafosol ophthalmic solution has been introduced; however, its therapeutic effect on DED after cataract surgery has not been reported. We investigated the efficacy of preservative-free diquafosol in patients with pre-existing DED after cataract surgery. We divided subjects who were diagnosed with DED and scheduled to undergo cataract surgery, into 3 groups (preservative-free diquafosol, group 1; preservative-containing diquafosol, group 2; preservative-free hyaluronate, group 3), and each eye drops was administered 6 times daily after surgery. Tear break up time (TBUT), Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), corneal staining score, lid margin abnormality, and meibum quality improved over time in group 1. Groups 1 and 2 had significantly superior TBUT, meibomian gland dysfunction grade, and meibomian gland expressibility throughout the study period than group 3. Meibum quality of group 1 was significantly better than group 2 at 1 and 3 months after surgery. Preservative-free diquafosol showed better efficacy in treating DED after cataract surgery than preservative-containing diquafosol or preservative-free hyaluronate. Preservative-free diquafosol may serve as a reliable option for the management of patients with pre-existing DED after phacoemulsification.
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