Dry eye

The tear film is a thin layer that covers the surface of the eye. Tears supply the cornea and connective tissue with nutrients and oxygen, moisturise them, apply disinfecting substances to fight viruses and bacteria, and wash foreign bodies away. The texture of the tear film plays an important part in the whole process of being able to see. It smoothes the front surface of the cornea by levelling out even minute irregularities of the surface, thus guaranteeing a smooth, optically perfect refracting surface.

Treating physicians



   Prof. Dr. Philipp Steven




If the tear film tears

In order for the tear film to be able to carry out its complex tasks, it is essential that its three components are in balance with each other. The protective film on the surface of the eye consists of the mucous membrane, the lacrimal (tear) fluid, and a lipid layer. If not enough lacrimal fluid is produced, or if the composition of the tear film changes, this could increase the evaporation of the watery content. The tear film loses stability and smoothness, then tears, leaving dry areas. The surface of the eye no longer receives enough moisture. This results in infections and damage, also of the lids, and various associated problems.

In warm countries in particular, adults suffer from dry eye due to the climatic conditions. The tear film can be disturbed if the eye is not adequately protected against the sun, which in turn leads to inflammatory reactions in the body. In such cases, merely treating the eyes with eye drops is not sufficient. Targeted diagnostics are required to identify the inflammatory processes so they can be treated properly.

Innovative diagnostics and therapy at the Eye Center Cologne

The specialists at the Eye Center Cologne treat patients with dry eye to the highest national and international standards. Diagnostics and treatment strategies are constantly adapted to the latest findings, and thereby greatly improved. Our particular expertise lies in the field of non-mechanical therapies.

As patients with dry eye often have an underlying systematic disease, we in the interdisciplinary network of the University Clinic of Cologne work closely with colleagues in other fields. This means we are able to offer affected persons the optimum, holistic treatment.