Glycosylation is an important and common form of posttranscriptional modification of proteins in cells. During the last decade, a vast array of biological functions has been ascribed to glycans because of a rapid evolution in glycomic technologies. Glycogenes that are highly expressed at the human ocular surface include families of glycosyltransferases, proteoglycans, and glycan degradation proteins, as well as mucins and carbohydrate-binding proteins, such as the galectins. On the apical glycocalyx, mucin O-glycans promote boundary lubrication, prevent bacterial adhesion and endocytic activity, and maintain epithelial barrier function through interactions with galectins. The emerging roles attributed to glycans are contributing to the appreciation of their biological capabilities at the ocular surface.