What is Dry Eye Syndrome

What is Dry Eye Syndrome

What is Dry Eye Syndrome

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?


eye graphic

When you blink, a film of tears spreads over the eye. This keeps the eye’s surface smooth and clear. The tear film is important for clear and consistent vision. The tear film is made of three layers;

An oil layer (Lipid): thin surface layer of the tear film which prevents tear evaporation. This layer is produced in the meibomian glands that line the upper and lower eyelid margins.

A water layer (Aqueous): thick middle layer of the tear film that keeps the eye protected from particles and debris. This layer is produced in the lacrimal gland in the upper eyelid.

A mucus layer (Mucin): thin inner layer of the tear film that spreads the water layer out over the eye’s surface. This layer is produced by the conjunctiva, the clear tissue covering the white of the eye and lining the inner eyelids.

An insufficiency of any of the tear layers leads to symptoms including:

  • Burning

  • Itching

  • Aching/soreness

  • Fatigued and heavy eyes

  • Dryness

  • Watering

  • Sandy/gritty sensation

  • Redness

  • Light sensitivity

  • Blurry or fluctuating vision

  • Contact lens discomfort or intolerance


Complications of Dry Eye:

Eye infections. Your tears protect the surface of your eyes from exposure. Without adequate tears, you may have an increased risk of eye infection.

Damage to the surface of your eyes. Severe dry eyes may lead to eye inflammation, corneal abrasion, ulcers and vision problems.

Decreased quality of life. Dry eyes can make it difficult to perform everyday activities.

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