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01.12.2014 | Review | Ausgabe 6/2014

International Ophthalmology 6/2014

The role and treatment of inflammation in dry eye disease

International Ophthalmology > Ausgabe 6/2014
Ayse Yagci, Canan Gurdal


Dry eye syndrome is a common ocular surface problem, affects 10–30 % of the population, especially in those who are older than 40 years. As a consequence of the demographic pressure created by the aging population, its prevalence is expected to increase as well as its burden on ophthalmologic practices. Thus, understanding the complex underlying mechanisms and development of thoughtful, effective strategies that involve these mechanisms are critical. Many factors causing ocular surface damage and inflammation have been shown to contribute to the etiopathogenesis. Increased osmolarity induces ocular surface inflammation leading to disruption of both the quality and quantity of tears. Pathologic tear function and the ocular surface inflammation affects the neural arcade and increases apoptosis in the ocular surface cells thus creating a viscous cycle for dry eye by causing unstable and hyperosmolar tears. Thus, the treatment objective is to prevent severe dry eye complications via preventing inflammation and apoptosis of the ocular surface cells. The ultimate target is a normalized ocular surface, increased tear stability, and decreased osmolarity of the tear film. In the light of current literature, this review aims to elucidate the role of inflammation as the main etiological factor in dry eye disease and discuss current therapeutic approaches to overcome it.

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