Dry Eye Information

Insufficient Tears – Dry Eye Cascade

Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS) is the result of any number of unrelated causes or conditions. Some of the most common factors that contribute to dry eye include:

Dry Eye Cascade

  • Dry environment
  • Aging
  • Hormonal changes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Certain types of medications
  • Contact lens wear

Regardless of the cause, all dry eye patients have in common abnormal or insufficient tears. This leads to reduced tear clearance, increased tear osmolarity, ocular surface irritation, and elaboration of cytokines and other pro-inflammatory mediators.

As dry eye progresses, ocular surface irritation increases. Contributing to the irritation are reduced tear clearance and increased tear residence time. Prolonged contact with toxins, potential pathogens and/or foreign particles can increase the risk of irritation or even infection.

An increased number of pro-inflammatory molecules, along with a higher concentration of other tear constituents, can alter the pH of natural tears and lead to ocular irritation.

Once inflammation starts, a downward spiral of damage to ocular surface structures can occur. This perpetuates and intensifies a cycle of signs, symptoms and worsening ocular surface inflammation.

See the Dry Eye Cascade

SYSTANE®

SYSTANE®

SYSTANE® Lubricant Eye Drops helps protect eyes from dry eye and keeps them lubricated throughout the day.

Learn More
SYSTANE®

SYSTANE®

SYSTANE® Lubricant Eye Drops helps protect eyes from dry eye and keeps them lubricated throughout the day.

Learn More