Tear substitutes form the mainstay of treatment. They are aqueous solutions containing polymers that determine their viscosity, retention time and adhesion to ocular surface. They are cellulose derivatives like HPMC-hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and CMC-carboxymethycellulose, polyvinyl derivatives like polyvinyl alcohol, chondroitin sulfate and sodium hyluronate. Artificial tears provide improvement in symptoms of eye irritation, blurred vision and visual contrast sensitivity.
Dry eye disease is a growing public health problem and one of the most common conditions seen by eye practitioners. It is an extremely common and often unrecognised disease affecting millions of people. It is a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance and tear film instability with potential damage to ocular surface.