Xerosis

Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Labelled diagram of the structure of the retina

Xerosis is a condition characterized by abnormal dryness of the conjunctiva (of the eye), the skin, or mucous membranes.

Note that Xerosis is a general dry-skin condition, not specific to the skin of or around the eyes. However, when the dryness is of the conjunctiva, xerosis may be treated as an ophthalmic condition.


Xerosis affecting the conjunctiva is sometimes known as conjunctival xerosis.

This is not necessarily due to a reduction in the production of tears (that moisten and help to clean the eye), but to changes in the membrane - which can become grey and thickened in the area exposed when the eye is open. Nevertheless, some sources mention "deficiency of tears or conjunctival secretions" in connection with conjunctival xerosis. Some sources also mention the possibility of deficiency of vitamin "A" being a factor. See also xerophthalmia.

More about Ophthalmology:

This section includes short definitions of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).

Other related pages include

For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.

The following books may also be of interest:

The Aging Eye (Harvard Medical School)
MCQ Companion to the Eye (Textbook)
The Secret of Perfect Vision: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Nearsightedness
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Glaucoma: The Essential Treatments and Advances That Could Save Your Sight

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