More than 30 million people suffer from dry eye syndrome (DES), but less than 1 million are actually receiving treatment.1
Pinpointing the exact cause of dry eyes can sometimes be difficult because the condition is often multifactorial with several contributing factors leading to intermittent blur, fluctuations in vision, and stinging or watery eyes.
Common systemic and autoimmune diseases have been found to be associated with an increased risk of dry eye disease; therefore, it is especially important to be familiar with these systemic conditions that contribute to aqueous deficiency and/or evaporative dry eye disease.
Dry eye disease is known to be multifactorial, with inflammation being a key contributing factor to the vicious dry eye cycle.1 Most commonly, evaporative dry eye causes tear hyperosmolarity which destroys the ocular surface cells. This damage causes an inflammatory response, leading to chronic dysfunction of the tear secretion, further increasing the tear osmolarity. In contrast, aqueous deficient dry eye involves inflammation attacking and damaging the lacrimal glands causing a decrease in tear production.
*Important to note: Although the prevalence of DES is more common in women and may increase with age, dry eye symptoms affects people of all ages.1
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