The dry eye

THE DRY EYE

Means an eye which doesn´t produce tear flow or has an problem in the correct distribution of the tear (imagine a wound, scare ).  this dryness leads to a cronic irritation of the eye, over all the cornea suffers a lot.  You can see a cornea (which in normal conditions is shyny and wet) as no shiny, somtimes covered with dark pigment due to the irritation, sometimes we see white stuff on the cornea, and over all in mornings  covered with white, dense mucus.

First it seems a high painfull process, every blinking scratches the gigh sensitive cornea.  This pain is very individual.  There are breed which has a lower sensitive cornes as the braquicephalic dogs like bulldogs, chihuahua etc.. so it seems that they have less pain and the owner discovers the problem later then normal.

The reason a pet owner comes to the clinic is the high amount of producing mucus, over all in the mornings.

The cornea is composed of diferent layers of cells, like an onion.  Those cells degenerate and die.  With the production of mucus the eye wants to protect the cornea and hydrate themself, that´s when blood vessels star s invading the cornea (which in normal condition are not present).  The mucus is good nutrition and protection for bacterias, so a conjunctivitis is not far away.  If we let the proces develop by itself in some future, not far away we find on the cornea: pigment, ulcus and posible corneal perforation (which need urgent veterinary treatment, most cases surgery).

The dry eye needs a perfect and adecuate therapy during life time, lubrication in form of artificial tears (not all artificial tears are made for animals), own serum (we prepare it at the vets), drops to stimulate the tear production, crema/drops with antibiotic in case of inflamation and over all a daily cleaning.  Your vet can diagnose dry eye by messuring the tear flow with a test called Schirmer Tear Flow Test.  With the biomicroscope we can even detect the most small ulcus or cornea wounds that you would´t see without this machine, also we can determine the number of blood vessels that invade the cornea exactely.

If you have mor questions about the dry eye, please contact your vet

« volver