Research on biomarkers is a promising and necessary area in terms of disease diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, and control; Current models suggest the need to delve into technologies that measure the tear film as a key tool in the physiopathogenesis of dry eye, as well as the standardization of processes for its application. It was observed that dry eye syndrome could change patterns of the tear proteome, which justifies the need to delve into complete pathological processes that allow obtaining detailed information on the proteins that are affected during the process. However, it is important to note that even the real biological function of the different biomarkers of the tear film is not fully understood; despite this, they provide in vivo information on the cellular state, which promotes the knowledge of inflammation processes characteristic of the syndrome. Therefore, it is relevant to understand the development of dry eye syndrome, since today it represents a problem for public health since it causes eye discomfort, fatigue, and visual disorders that can compromise a person’s daily activities. Therefore, early identification of subtypes and control of severity is crucial to improve patient well-being.
In this vein, the present work showed that several investigations support the study of tear proteomic profiles as a valuable and consistent tool, with the capacity to provide information in cases where the symptoms can be considered “normal” taking as reference the traditional tests; while biomarkers can offer an early diagnosis of the disease, as it allows mitigating the long-term consequences, since they are a tool that identifies the presence or absence of inflammation on the ocular surface, being a guide for making therapeutic decisions. Consequently, this work allows the visual health professional to be informed about the main proteomes that have been linked to the diagnosis of dry eye syndrome, which constitutes a key element when evaluating the clinical picture of the patient; Likewise, this review aims to raise the need to investigate the subject, given the lack of information available in Latin American populations with dry eye syndrome, mainly to take advantage of the diagnostic value of biomarkers on the ocular surface in these populations.
Dry Eye Syndrome is an alteration of the ocular surface caused by a lack of tear production or a poor quality tear, which evaporates quickly. People who suffer from it have three times more difficulty performing everyday tasks such as reading, driving, working on the computer, or watching television. The consequences of this syndrome can be related to mild but constant eye irritation and significant inflammation and can even mean the appearance of scars on the eye’s front surface.
In addition to being called dry eye syndrome, dry eye disease, or simply “dry eye,” there are more terms to describe dry eye, such as:
Sicca keratitis: Generally used to describe the dryness and inflammation of the cornea.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca: Used to describe dry eye, which affects both the cornea and the conjunctiva.
Tear dysfunction syndrome: Used to emphasize that inadequate tear quality can be as important as inadequate tear quantity.
One of the main causes of the appearance of Dry Eye Syndrome is the low frequency and quality of blinking, something that suffers if you make prolonged use of computer devices, such as screens.
Patients experience irritation, sensitivity to light, dryness, pain, a gritty sensation, eye fatigue, reading problems, and a burning sensation. That is why dry eye disease has serious consequences due to its impact on the quality of life of patients.
For those who suspect that they suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome, the first thing to do is obtain a proper diagnosis to know what type of dry eye they have, so an ophthalmologist should be consulted immediately.
How to prevent dry eye?
To avoid suffering from dry eye, it is recommended to blink at least 15 times per minute. This, especially and considering that, in regular users of mobile phones and computers, the normal frequency is 5 blinks per minute.
Likewise, it is important to avoid prolonged exposure to air conditioning and air heating directly to the eye, use contact lenses well, not wear them for more than 8 hours per day, or abuse makeup and eye drops.
Dry eye syndrome is a common reason for ophthalmological consultation, characterized by an increase in tear osmolarity, tear film instability, and ocular surface inflammation. The main causes are age, female gender, meibomian gland dysfunction, contact lens wear, environmental factors, and systemic medications. The main mechanisms involved in the genesis of dry eye syndrome include a decrease in the aqueous component of the tear, alteration in corneal innervation, and direct toxicity to the main and accessory lacrimal glands. Many are the drugs related to dry eye that, due to their frequency in their daily use, are important in the practice of general medicine. Some of the groups involved are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs for acid-peptic disease, sulfonylureas, antihypertensives, anxiolytics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, systemic steroids, oral contraceptives, antihistamines, and drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease, among others. This research aims to briefly review systemic medications and the possible mechanisms by which they are associated with dry eye.
Dry eye syndrome affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide and is one of the most frequent causes of ophthalmological consultation. It is a vicious cycle characterized by tear film instability, increased osmolarity, and ocular surface inflammation. It usually results in eye discomfort, visual disturbances, and potential damage to the ocular surface. The increasing number of cases with this condition is an important testimony that this entity needs immediate attention and understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and identification of the factors that can cause dry eye.1,2
Dry eye affects productivity in the workplace, limiting necessary activities such as reading or using a computer for long periods. In the United States, this problem carries an economic burden of approximately 3.8 billion dollars in health costs per year.3
Dry eye syndrome has many causes, which often overlap and interact. It usually coexists with other conditions or can be exacerbated by different environmental factors.3 The two predominant and mutually non-exclusive categories are water-deficient dry eye and evaporative dry eye. There is increasing evidence that both types of dry eye can coexist and interact with each other.
The approximate prevalence of dry eye syndrome ranges from 5-50%, although based only on clinical signs, it can be as high as 75% in some populations. Women are more affected than men, and signs and symptoms are directly proportional to age.1