Dry eyes: etiology and management

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2008 Jul;19(4):287-91. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e3283023d4c.


Purpose of review: Until recently, the cause of dry eye syndrome was uncertain and the treatment was palliative. Since discovering that dry eyes are caused by inflammation, there has been an abundance of research focusing on anti-inflammatory therapies, other contributing causes, and better diagnostic testing. This review summarizes some of the interesting published research on ocular surface disease over the past year.

Recent findings: The definition of dry eye now highlights the omnipresent symptom of blurry vision. The re-evaluation of ocular surface staining, tear meniscus height, and visual change will allow for a better diagnosis and understanding of dry eyes. Punctal plugs, and oral and topical anti-inflammatory use will strengthen our arsenal against ocular surface disease.

Summary: Major progress has occurred in the past few years in gaining a better understanding of the etiology of dry eye syndrome, which will inevitably lead to more effective therapeutic options.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes* / diagnosis
  • Dry Eye Syndromes* / drug therapy
  • Dry Eye Syndromes* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tears / chemistry
  • Tears / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Ophthalmic Solutions