Dry eye: diagnosis and current treatment strategies

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2004 Jul;4(4):314-9. doi: 10.1007/s11882-004-0077-2.


One in four patients attending ophthalmic clinics report symptoms of dry eye, making it one of the most common complaints seen by ophthalmologists. Aqueous-layer deficiency is the most common form of dry eye and is frequently caused by decreased secretion of tears by the lacrimal glands. Evaporative dry eye is often secondary to meibomian gland disease and results in a defective lipid layer. Tear replacement or preservation using artificial tears and/or punctal occlusion are the mainstay of treatment. Newer forms of therapy were designed to modify the underlying disease process. These include the use of topical cyclosporin A, autologous serum, and sodium hyaluronate drops, which suppress underlying inflammation, provide growth factors, and prevent the onset of squamous metaplasia in ocular surface epithelium. Hormonal therapy might have a role in the future of dry eye therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / biosynthesis
  • Androgens / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / physiopathology*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Tears / metabolism


  • Androgens
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Cyclosporine
  • Hyaluronic Acid