What Is Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca?
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a distressing autoimmune form of dry eye that causes chronic bilateral dessication (dryness of both eyes) with inflammation of the conjunctiva and cornea due to tear abnormality.
Little sores develop that cause the symptoms and which can be seen through staining procedures. Thickening of the cornea may result, impairing vision, but there is not loss of tissue.
Q: What is tear abnormality?
A: Tear abnormality means that something is wrong with production of tears that continuously bathe the eyes to keep them moist, create a smooth surface for clear vision, nourish the cornea, wash away debris, and protect against germ invasion.
These tears are not the same composition as the tears produced when crying. Rather, they are a complex three layer fluid called the tear film. The tear film is made by the combined action of three eye structures: lacrimal glands produce an aqueous layer, Meibomian glands in the eyelids produce a lipid (oil) layer that coats the aqueous layer, and goblet cells in the conjunctiva produce a mucous layer that spreads the tear layer.
A qualitative and quantitative deficiency of tears can lead to the persistent and progressive damage of the ocular surface with a compromised wound-healing process.
What Is Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?
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