Types of Dry Eye Disease
Why are Tears important?
Tears are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Tears are produced by the lacrimal glands and consist of proteins, electrolytes and vitamins that are critical to maintain the health of the eye surface and to prevent infection. They are constantly produced to clean, nourish, and protect the eye surface. Tears bathe the eye’s surface keeping it moist and wash away dust and debris. Any condition that alters the proper production of tears can make the eyes unhealthy and result in dry eye.
Tears are comprised of 3 layers: lipid (oil), water, and mucus. The composition of these components is what helps to protect and nourish the surface of our eyes. The lipid or oil layer prevents the evaporation of the water layer. The mucus layer helps spread the tears evenly over the eye surface. When these layers are not functioning properly, the tears can either evaporate too rapidly or they do not reach the entire eye surface, which will then cause the symptoms of dry eyes.