Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, more commonly known as dry eye, is an extremely common and often unrecognized disease. It is the condition in ophthalmology that in its mild grade of severity will affect most of the population at one time or other. Due to a wide variety of presentations and symptoms, it often frustrates the ophthalmologists as well as patients. Due to multifactorial and elusive etiology, it is often challenging to treat dry eye. Ocular surface disorders are also clinically important to treat especially in terms of visual acuity. Xero-dacryology is therefore becoming a very important branch of ophthalmology. Recent studies have given insight into the inflammatory etiology of dry eye. The conventional and main approach to the treatment of dry eye is providing lubricating eye drops or tear substitutes. However, the newer treatment approach is to target the underlying cause of dry eye instead of conventional symptomatic relief. In light of the above knowledge, the present article focuses on newer theories on pathogenesis of dry eye and their impact on dry eye management. METHOD OF LITERATURE SEARCH: A systematic literature review was performed using PubMed databases in two steps. The first step was oriented to articles published for dry eye. The second step was focused on the role of inflammation and anti-inflammatory therapy for dry eye. The search strategy was not limited by year of publication. A manual literature search was also undertaken from authentic reference books on ocular surface disease.
Keywords: Apoptosis; inflammation; pathogenesis.