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Advancements In Anti-inflammatory Therapy For Dry Eye Syndrome.

E. McCabe, S. Narayanan
Published 2009 · Medicine

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PURPOSE The goal of this literature review is to discuss recent discoveries in the pathophysiology of dry eye and the subsequent evolution of diagnostic and management techniques. The mechanisms of various anti-inflammatory treatments are reviewed, and the efficacy of common pharmacologic agents is assessed. Anti-inflammatory therapy is evaluated in terms of its primary indications, target population, and utility within a clinical setting. METHODS The Medline PubMed database and the World Wide Web were searched for current information regarding dry eye prevalence, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management. After an analysis of the literature, major concepts were integrated to generate an updated portrayal of the status of dry eye syndrome. RESULTS Inflammation appears to play a key role in perpetuating and sustaining dry eye. Discoveries of inflammatory markers found within the corneal and conjunctival epithelium of dry eye patients have triggered recent advancements in therapy. Pharmacologic anti-inflammatory therapy for dry eye includes 2 major categories: corticosteroids and immunomodulatory agents. Fatty acid and androgen supplementation and oral antibiotics have also shown promise in dry eye therapy because of their anti-inflammatory effects. CONCLUSIONS Anti-inflammatory pharmacologic agents have shown great success in patients with moderate to severe dry eye when compared with alternative treatment modalities. A deeper understanding of the link between inflammation and dry eye validates the utilization of anti-inflammatory therapy in everyday optometric practice.
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