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Oman J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jan-Apr;12(1):4-9. doi: 10.4103/ojo.OJO_187_2017.

Ascorbic acid versus placebo in postoperative lid edema postphotorefractive keratectomy: A double-masked, randomized, prospective study.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran.
Bina Eye Hospital Research Center, Tehran, Iran.
Vision Health Research Center, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran.



Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a proper type of refractive surgery used to remodel corneal stroma to compensate refractive errors. Corneal haze was reported as one of the side effects in several studies. This study was conducted for investigation of the effect of preventive effect of Vitamin C on eyelid edema, corneal haze, corneal epithelial healing, mitigation of pain, and epiphora.


This study has been performed as a double-blind clinical trial on 51 patients who underwent PRK surgery. The patients were randomly divided into two groups as follows: case group who received oral ascorbic acid 250 mg once daily for 7 days and control group that took placebo 3 days before and 4 days after the surgical operation. The patients underwent a surgical operation on day 0. Then, the following factors were evaluated as the main outcome: postoperative lid edema, pain, corneal haze, and corneal reepithelialization.


The mean age of the patients was 28.52 ± 8.05 years. There was no statistically significant difference in the primary outcome of the subjective pain scores along with corneal haze and corneal reepithelialization between the treatment and placebo groups at any point during the postoperative period; however, there was a statistically significant difference and trend for lower lid edema in the ascorbic acids group on postoperative day 1 (P < 0.05).


This study demonstrates that ascorbic acid may provide an alternative or add-on option for lid edema relief after PRK.


Ascorbic acid; Vitamin C; ocular side effects; photorefractive keratectomy

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