KERATO-CONJUNCTIVITIS SICCA (DRY EYE)
“Dry Eye” or Kerato-conjunctivitis Sicca is a disease characterized by abnormal insufficient functioning of the tear gland. The “dry eye” condition allows dust, debris and bacteria to linger and persist on the cornea. The disease is considered to have a genetic component and is seen more commonly is small bracheocephalic (short nosed) breeds. Normally dust particles are washed off the surface of the eye by the flushing action of tears that being secreted and drained away from the eyes constantly.
“Dry eye” can be controlled by a drug called “cyclosporin.” Cyclosporin eye drops are administered once or twice daily. Alternative, artificial tears can be administered 4-6 X daily. Cyclosporin treatment allows the tear gland to begin functioning normally again, keeping the eye clean and uninfected. The artificial tears (ointment or liquid drop) is much less expensive, but also less convenient and effective, requiring treatment every 6 hrs instead of every 24 hrs.
Left untreated “dry” eyes can cause corneal disease, blindness, and sometimes require eye removal (enucleation.)