This is decreased lacrimal secretion characterised by conjunctival hyperaemia and itchiness far in excess of that suggested by the mild inflammatory signs. Pain is slight in the morning but worsens during the day. There is diminished lacrimation and there may be mucous in the tear film. Blotchy epithelial lesions may be visible on the cornea, particularly the lower half, and filaments may be evident.
Decreased lacrimation is confirmed by the Schirmer test.
The condition most often occurs as part of Sjogren's syndrome and it's management is described in discussion of that disease. Kerato-conjunctivitis sicca may also occur in chronic sarcoidosis and SLE.
Treatment options include the use of artificial tears.
Last reviewed 02/2021