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KERATOCONJUNCTIVITIS SICCA (KCS) or "DRY EYE"
What is keratoconjunctivitis sicca?
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a condition that is also commonly referred to as "dry eye". The medical term means inflammation of the cornea and surrounding tissues from drying.
What causes "dry eye"?
Tears are required to lubricate the cornea and remove any debris or infectious agents that may contact the eye. The tear film is a mixture of mucus, fatty liquid and water. Any condition that impairs the ability to produce adequate amounts of tear film can result in "dry eye". Some of the common causes of KCS include:
Immune-mediated diseases that damage the tear producing glands. This is the most common cause of KCS and is poorly understood. The body's immune system attacks the cells that produce a portion of the tear film resulting in decreased production. This may be an inherited disorder.
Systemic diseases such as canine distemper virus or feline herpes virus infections