The human eye is coated with a moist protective layer called the “tear film”, which is composed of multiple layers including oil, water, and mucus secreted by different glands and tissues.
In dry eye patients, the tear film has reduced water content, and this leads to inflammation and damage of the ocular surface. This causes the tear film to become unstable and disrupted and can lead to neurosensory disorder. When left untreated, the dysregulation of tear film can initiate a vicious cycle of continued inflammation and damage to the eye surface, which eventually causes a decrease in quality of life.
Pathology of Dry Eye Disease (DED)
In DED patients, the tear film has reduced water content due to excessive evaporation, causing tear hyperosmolarity (the core mechanism of DED), which damages the ocular surface both directly and by initiating inflammation. Dysregulation of immune mechanisms leads to a cycle of continued inflammation, accompanied by alterations in both innate and adaptive immune responses.
Market for Dry Eye
It is anticipated that 5-30% of the population will develop dry eye disease after the age of 50. In the US, 6.8% of the population over 18 (or 16.4 million people) have been diagnosed with dry eye¹. Worldwide dry eye market is projected to rise to US$ 5 bn by 2026².
2. Based on GlobalData’s estimates in 2016