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Ocul Surf. 2012 Jan;10(1):2-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 Jan 8.

The corneal pain system. Part I: the missing piece of the dry eye puzzle.

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Boston Foundation for Sight, Needham, MA 02494-1227, USA.


The traditional model of dry eye disease based on tear deficiency has presented us with many unanswered questions. Recent studies support the notion that dry eye-like symptoms represent non-specific corneal pain and provide new insights into the mechanisms that sustain the integrity of the optical tear layer. Thus, this enigmatic disease can be viewed with a new perspective, which involves the dysfunctional corneal pain system as a central pathogenetic feature of a series of disorders collectively known today as dry eye.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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