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April 1938

KERATITIS SICCA: Report of a Case

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.
From the Section on Ophthalmology, The Mayo Clinic.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1938;19(4):584-585. doi:10.1001/archopht.1938.00850160110007

Lack of tears leads to dryness of the eyes and to a clinical condition variously described as keratitis sicca, keratoconjunctivitis sicca or keratitis filamentosa. The symptoms are stickiness of the lids and burning and painful sensations, often most intense on awakening. Any disease that destroys the lacrimal gland or its innervation can cause this difficulty. The most satisfactory treatment available was proposed by Beetham1 in 1935, that is, closure of the canaliculi by electrocoagulation. I have found that after closure of the canaliculi instillation of artificial tears adds further to the comfort of the patient. Keratitis sicca is an uncommon disease, occurring usually among women after the menopause. The symptoms persist for many years ; sometimes slight remissions occur. Without treatment, patients with this condition find that any use of their eyes causes discomfort.


A girl aged 17 years came to the clinic in April 1935 with

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