The “International Dry Eye Workshop” (DEWS, 2007) redefines dry eye as a
“multifactorial tear and ocular surface disease that causes instability of the tear film that can lead to lesions on the ocular surface. It is accompanied by an increase in osmolarity (solute concentration) of the tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface. Neurosensory abnormalities also have a role.”
Eye dryness functionally manifests by a foreign body sensation, burning, tingling, irritation, blurred vision, eye strain, photophobia with often paradoxical reflex tearing.
As a result, dry eye can become painful and a real handicap. Dry eye remains the leading cause of contact lens intolerance, and 50% of contact lens patients report having dry eyes, whereas this prevalence is only 20% in non-contact lens wearers.
The prevalence of dry eye is 9% in patients aged 40 years and older and 15% after 65 years. The percentage of patients treated increases with the ageing of the population. The prevalence of this pathology increases with age. Today, it is more and more frequent.
This dry eye dysfunction can be caused by:
- hormonal disorders (like menopause)
- prolonged contact lens wear
- intensive use of screens (TV, computer, phones)
- pollution or other environmental factors (dry climate, air conditioning)