Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca Facts and Treatment
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Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca Facts and Treatment

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca or Dry Eye Syndrome is a disease marked by dryness and inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva of the eye. Proper diagnosis and treatment can relieve the inflammation and prevent drying of the eyes.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca or Dry Eye Syndrome is a disease caused by the malfunctioning of the tear glands otherwise known as the lacrimal glands. Proper and continuous production of tears is highly essential to the eye's health as tears keep the eye moist, thus protecting the eye against infections. In Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, the lacrimal gland does not produce enough tears to keep the entire conjunctiva and cornea sufficiently covered by a layer of tears. Dry eye syndrome has been often associated with people having Sjögren's syndrome, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus. Sjögren's syndrome is a disease that destroys the body's exocrine glands, such as the lacrimal and salivary glands. Dry eye is proven to be more common in women, especially after the onset of menopause. Dry eye has been associated with dry climates, as well as with the use of certain types of drugs, including tranquilizers, nasal decongestants and antihistamines. Severe dryness can even cause thickening of the corneal surface, development of ulcers and scars and growth of blood vessels across the cornea. The scarring and growth of blood vessels can deteriorate vision.

The tear film present over the eyes consists of three layers:

  1. Lipid Layer: The outer layer of lipid prevents tears from evaporating too rapidly.
  2. Aqueous Layer: The middle aqueous layer keeps the cornea and conjunctiva moist and healthy.
  3. Mucin Layer: The bottom layer of mucin assists in spreading the aqueous layer across the eye and keeping the eye surface moist.

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is the most common cause of canine conjunctivitis. Get your dog diagnosed for Keratoconjunctivitis sicca if it is suffering from chronic conjunctivitis, keratitis or corneal ulceration.

 

Symptoms

Symptoms of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca include burning, itching, pain and redness of the eye and a feeling of some foreign particle been lodged in the eye. The damage caused to the surface of the eye often results in discomfort and sensitivity to bright light. The symptoms are aggravated by activities which cut down the rate of normal blinking and involve concentration and prolonged use of the eyes. Examples of such activities include reading, watching television, and working in front of a computer.

 

Diagnosis

The Schirmer Tear Test is an efficient way of diagnosing dry eye syndrome. A strip of sterile filter paper is placed at the edge of the eye to determine the quantity of moisture available to the eye. Lower Schirmer Tear Test values together with corneal inflammation, ulceration, pigmentation, et cetera confirm the occurrence of Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

 

Treatments

Artificial tears are the principal treatment for dry eye and are available as eye drops. Artificial tears stimulate real tears and lubricate the eye. Sterile lubricating ointments can be used before bed to prevent drying of the eyes.

Eye drops containing Cyclosporine can greatly reduce the inflammation associated with dry eye syndrome. The anti-inflammatory properties of Cyclosporine reduce the conjunctival inflammation.

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Comments (4)

Thank you so much for the great information

Valuable info and presented well.Promoted since I am out of votes.

Thanks a lot Martin and Roberta..... Thanks for promoting...

Helpful info here, promoted, thanks.

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