PURPOSE: Dry eye disease (DED) is a common age-related ocular surface disease. However, it is unknown how aging influences the ocular surface microenvironment. This systematic review aims to investigate how the aging process changes the ocular surface microenvironment and impacts the development of DED. METHODS: An article search was performed in PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science. 44 studies reporting on age-related ocular changes and 14 large epidemiological studies involving the prevalence of DED were identified. 8 out of 14 epidemiological studies were further analyzed with meta-analysis. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) reporting guidelines were followed. Study-specific estimates (impact of aging on the prevalence of DED) were combined using one-group meta-analysis in a random-effects model. RESULTS: Meta-analysis revealed the prevalence of DED in the elderly aged 60 years old or older was 5519 of 60107 (9.2%) and the odds ratio of aging compared to younger age was 1.313 (95% confidence interval [CI]; 1.107, 1.557). With increasing age, the integrity of the ocular surface and tear film stability decreased. Various inflammatory cells, including senescent-associated T-cells, infiltrated the ocular surface epithelium, lacrimal gland, and meibomian gland, accompanied by senescence-related changes, including accumulation of 8-OHdG and lipofuscin-like inclusions, increased expression of p53 and apoptosis-related genes, and decreased Ki67 positive cells. CONCLUSIONS: The aging process greatly impacts the ocular surface microenvironment, consequently leading to DED.