Breakthrough in possible cure for Dry Eye Disease

11 Nov 2013

A team of researchers based in the Tokyo University of Science have published their most recent study exploring a viable treatment for those suffering from Dry Eye Disease.


The latest breakthrough came when scientists in the Japanese university were successful in transplanting bioengineered lacrimal ducts into adult mice.


The ducts were accepted by the nervous system of the mice and functioned normally when stimulated, which could mean regeneration in humans to treat dry eye disease could be possible.

What is Dry Eye Disease?

A shortage of tears causes Dry Eye Disease and is attributed to the lacrimal glands not functioning correctly.


Located just below the eyebrow, underneath the outer orbital rim bone, these glands produce the all important salty tears that keep your eyes moist.


Chronic dry eyes can severely impact on a person’s quality of life, and up until now, treatment has revolved around the use of eye drops and specialized protective eyewear.

How are tears made?

Tears flow from the tear glands through tiny ducts and are made up of three main components: mucous, oil and water.


Oil: The meibomian gland lines the edge of your eyelids and produces oil to help prevent tears from evaporating.


Mucous: Microscopic cells called goblets found in the conjunctiva on the underside of your eyelid produces mucous that helps coat the surface of the eye.


Water: More like a saline solution, the ‘water’ that makes up tears contains nutrients that are important for healthy eye function.

Blinking to keep eyes moist

On average you will blink up to 15 times per minute and when you blink, the eyelid spreads the tear film evenly across your eye’s surface. Excess moisture is drained via openings found at the inner corners of the upper and lower eyelids.


These extra tears are emptied into the lacrimal sac and then into to the nasolacrimal duct connected to the nasal passage – which is why your nose runs when you cry sometimes!

More research needed

While the news from this latest study is positive, more research will need to be carried out into the viability of applying this procedure to humans suffering from dry eye disease.


If you’re having trouble with your vision, book a free consultation with Optilase and see if you may be a candidate for laser eye surgery. Call +353 1 223 8821 for further details.

More to Explore

Romantic Eye Contact Infographic Sources

09 Feb 2013
Read more

Recovery After Laser Eye Surgery

28 Jan 2014
Read more

Sight for Sore Eyes

03 Dec 2012
Read more

9 steps to help with eye strain

14 Jul 2020
Read more

Book a Free Consultation Today!

At your consultation we will answer all your questions, discuss finance options, and assess whether you are a suitable candidate for one of our life-changing, treatments. Consultations with our expert Optometrists are free and take approximately 1 hour at one of our nationwide clinics.
World’s Leading Technology
Laser Eye Surgery Lifetime Care Guarantee
Laser Health Insurance Discount
World-Renowned Surgeons
20% Tax Relief
0% Interest Free Finance
99% Of Our Patients Recommend Us

Lets Connect

Privacy CentrePolicy & Procedures
Flexible Payment with
Book a Free Consultation