Presbyopia and the aging eye: Existing refractive approaches and their potential impact on dry eye signs and symptoms

E. Lafosse, J. S. Wolffsohn, C. Talens-Estarelles, S. García-Lázaro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Every part of the human body is subject to aging, including the eye. An increased prevalence of dry eye disease with age is widely acknowledged. Aging threatens ocular surface homeostasis, altering the normal functioning of the lacrimal functional unit and potentially leading to signs and symptoms of dry eye. Additional age-related processes take place within the crystalline lens, leading to presbyopia and cataractogenesis. Correction strategies for presbyopia and cataracts may directly or indirectly challenge the ocular surface. Contact lenses disturb the normal structure of the tear film and can interact negatively with the ocular surface, further deteriorating an already unbalanced tear film in presbyopes, however, newer contact lens designs can overcome some of these issues. Moreover, cataract and corneal refractive surgeries sever corneal nerves and disrupt the corneal epithelium and ocular surface, which can influence surgical outcomes and aggravate dryness symptoms in older age groups. This review summarises the current understanding of how the invasive nature of contact lens wear and cataract and refractive surgery influence signs and symptoms of ocular dryness in an aging population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-114
Number of pages12
JournalContact Lens and Anterior Eye
Issue number2
Early online date21 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Contact lenses
  • Cornea
  • Dry eye
  • Presbyopia
  • Refractive surgery


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