The majority of diagnosed DED patients fail to get a satisfactory response with current treatments. Over 60% of patients using currently approved drug therapies in the U.S. discontinue their treatment within 12 months of initiation. In particular, local intolerabilities and lack of efficacy are considered to be key reasons for the high discontinuation rates.
In addition to dryness-related symptoms, impairment of visual function plays a significant role in the reduction of work productivity and patients’ health-related quality of life. Ocular surface damage leads to on visual symptoms that affect functions such as reading, looking at screen displays, driving and night vision.
To understand DED, the underlaying causes and effects on the different physiological layers of the tear film and the ocular surface tissues have to be considered:
Tear film instability due to altered lipid layer
Tear film instability due to altered tear volume and composition
Meibomian gland dysfunction due to abnormal lipid secretion or obstruction
Mucin dysfunction due to damage
Epithelium dysfunction due to inflammation
Nerve dysfunction due to degeneration