Defending the ocular surface

Monday 16 March 13:30 - 14:30

The ocular surface is defended from debris and invading micro-organisms by both non-specific defenses including barrier type defenses and the innate immune system, as well as specific defenses. Alterations to the ocular surface environment, such as contact lens wear, can act to modify these defenses and to also introduce pathogens, hence increasing the risk of infection. This presentation will cover the barriers which act to prevent host disease, the impact a contact lens has on these, and what can happen when these defense mechanisms are impeded.

Learning points:
1. Describe the major ocular defense mechanisms
2. Compare the production and function of the different layers of the tear film and list the functions of tear proteins and serum proteins
3. Describe the functions of the most abundant antibody in tears and in the ocular surface tissue
4. Identify the major effects of contact lens wear on tear film defence mechanisms