EYE SURFACE ALTERATIONS: DRY EYE SYNDROME
Dry eye syndrome is a very common problem, and is often associated with other eye diseases.
Dry eye is a disease of the tears and the ocular surface that causes eye discomfort, visual disturbances and an instability of the tear layer of the eye, called tear film.
The causes that can give dry eyes can be various: aging, the use of contact lenses, some systemic diseases, eye trauma, hormonal changes and some drugs would be some examples.
Dry eye syndrome usually increases with the age. This is a common problem in post-menopausal women.
It is usually a disease that is easy to diagnose and difficult to treat. With a fluorescein stain and a cobalt blue light we can appreciate the typical lesions of dry eye (superficial dotted keratitis) (Figure 1).
In terms of treatment, it is often a difficult pathology to treat: it is necessary to apply the therapeutic options individually and assess whether there are other alterations in the ocular surface that may worsen the process such as the existence of a previous pathology or any another problem in the cornea, such as a scar caused by herpes (Figure 2).
Corneal infections can lead to irreversible opacities (leukoma) that will severely decrease vision the more affected is the visual axis. In the event of any inflammation of the anterior segment of the eye, an urgent consultation must be made to avoid this type of pathology.