Surgical intervention is the most effective treatment for decreased vision resulting from cataracts. Although the current procedures for cataract surgery are safe and effective, it is well known that several complications can develop after surgery. Postoperative cystoid macular edema (CME) is a well-known complication, and prophylactic medications such as steroids and/or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs are routinely used for its prevention. Ocular surface abnormalities, such as dry eye, have also been reported to develop after cataract surgery. However, the causative mechanisms for postoperative dry eye have not been definitively determined. At present, there are no prophylactic medications that are commonly used to prevent the development of postoperative dry eye. Although nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs are very effective in reducing the incidence and degree of postoperative CME, it is known that they can cause adverse side effects, including ocular surface abnormalities. Thus, perioperative medications must be carefully selected to improve surgical outcomes and patient satisfaction. Here, we summarize the results of recent studies on postoperative dry eye and CME that can develop after cataract surgery. We suggest appropriate combinations of medications that can be used to minimize these postsurgical complications.
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