Keratos - European association on ocular surface diseases and lachrymal dysfunctions.    Afficher en Français  Display in English   Acesso ao site em Portugês
Logo: Keratos - Revenir au site, Back to site
Presentation of Keratos
Dry Eyes
Advice & Suggestions
Ocular Surface Diseases
Ocular Allergies
Invisible Disabilities
Areas of Interest
Actions & Projects
Contacts & Links
Glossary & Diagrams

Preserve our Eyes, not our Drops!







Dry Eyes

The definition of dry eyes is complex and reveals the lack of consensus amongst authors. It is sometimes called dry eye syndrome (but also, keratitis [or keratoconjonctivitis] sicca [KCS], xerophthalmia, etc) which means that it concerns a group of symptons related to a deficit of hydration or lubrication of the eye without defining its exact cause. This somehow reveals that the mechanisms causing dry eyes are still unknown and most certainly understudied. One of the most complete definition we have found on this disease is:

The ocular surface, the principal and accessory lachrymal glands, the meibomius glands et the neural connections that interconnect them, form a functional unit working together. The dysfunction of one of those structures is revealed by the inadaquate volume or/and the lacrhrymal composition necessary to repair the numerous damages caused by the multiple agressions eyes are constantly submited to, whihc include   the action of  microorganism ou the simple action of blinking (Stern et Al).

According to Murube (a famous Spanish ophthalomogist) the most adequate of definition of dry eye syndrome is the "inadequecy between the quality and the composition of the tears and the needs of the ocular surface". This authors suggests, among other things, to replace the dry eye term by "lachrymal dysfunction".

According to other authors is a perturbation associated to a lachrymal production deficiency and/or the excess of evaporation causing ocular discomfort and damages, in particular in the lid slit area (Lemp & Al). Some other authors add that the damages may extend beyond the ocular inter-palpebral surface towards the upper part of the globe and the the lachrymal instability by itlself is sufficient to establish a dry eye diagnostic, even in the absence of ocular surface damage. 

Recently, a delphi panel of ophtalmology specialists  decided to replace the term dry eye by DTS or dysfunctional tear syndrome. Curiously enough is very close to the term we [Keratos] decided to use two years and a half ago of lachrymal (=tearfilm) dysfunctions. Let's consider that we have read the appropriate authors and that we don't always repeat nonsense ;-)

Honestly, this DTS term does not cover all aspects of a dry eye state and notably the neurological and lid aspect (except for the glands inlcuded in the tearfilm notion). Thus, we may consider that the difficulyt to name this syndrome only reveals the complexity of this pahtology. Nevertheless this new term, englobes one important notion: dry eyes are not just the result of poor quantity of tears but most frequenty the result of a poor qaulity of tears, even toxic, irritanting and inflammatory tears, which increase evaporation and pain.

Anyway, now that this awful syndrome is better named, we expect (hope) that it will receive more attention, it will be better studied and most important better treated than currently.


Go to International Home - Afficher accueil international

  copyright © Keratos 2005-2007