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Tear Film Biomarkers in Dry Eye Disease

Published Online: December 23rd 2020 US Ophthalmic Review. 2020;13(2):Epub ahead of journal publication
Authors: Mohamed Hantera
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Article Information

Diagnosis of dry eye disease is challenging due to poor correlation between clinical signs and symptoms. The most commonly reported diagnostic tools used by practitioners (patient symptoms, tear break-up time, and vital staining of the ocular surface) are not always sensitive enough to detect mild disease and effectively monitor therapeutic response. The proximal position of the tear film to the ocular surface, and the relative ease of sampling, could make tear film analysis a promising tool for the diagnosis and management of dry eye disease. This review investigates the current research into tear film biomarkers and their potential use for diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Tear film biomarkers are evolving as a more sensitive measure than other functional tools. They have also been found to be better markers of disease severity than corneal staining and Schirmer’s test. Current research confirms that the diagnosis of dry eye disease is still based on symptoms and clinical presentation, but this could be combined with biomarker analysis to formulate a more accurate diagnosis and targeted therapy. Future research should be focused on developing a robust tool for tear fluid sampling that is efficient and cost-effective in a clinical setting.


Evaporation, aqueous deficiency, tear film biomarkers, osmolarity, dry eye disease, tear film stability


**This manuscript has been accepted for publication, but may be subject to minor changes during the production process.**

Article Information:

Mohamed Hantera has no financial or non-financial relationships or activities to declare in relation to this article.

Compliance With Ethics

This study involves a review of the literature and did not involve any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the autho

Review Process

Double-blind peer review.


The named author meets the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship of this manuscript, takes responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and has given final approval for the version to be published.


Mohamed Hantera, Medical Reference Center, King Road After Hiraa Crossing, Jeddah, KSA. E: Mohamedhantera30@gmail.com


No funding was received in the publication of this manuscript.

Open Access

This article is freely accessible at touchOPHTHALMOLOGY.com © Touch Medical Media 2020



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