Dry Eye: The Truth Behind Your Tears
- Posted on: Oct 15 2017
If you have started to suffer from itchy, burning, watery, or even dry feeling eyes, you may have an eye condition called the dry eye. Dry eye is an eye condition that affects nearly 5 million Americans— which makes you no anomaly if you get diagnosed with it. Chronic dry eye is caused by a variety of different conditions ranging from the environment to laser surgery, but no matter the cause, the main culprit of dry eye is insufficient tears. Tears are comprised of three different layers and are made of a mixture of mucus, water, fatty oils, and over 1500 proteins— making them more complex than you may have previously been aware of. The main purpose of your tears is to keep your eyes lubricated and protect them from pathogens, the environment, and other harmful irritants. In this article, we will discuss the three different layers of tears.
The Mucin Layer
The mucin layer is the inner layer of your tears. As such, the mucin layers sole responsibility is to bind water together to make sure that your eyes stay wet and lubricated.
The Aqueous Layer
As the middle layer of your tears, the aqueous layer contains both a water component and a vast amount of proteins. The main purpose of the aqueous layer is twofold: to nourish and protect the cornea and the conjunctiva (the membrane that covers the front of the eye and the inside of your eyelids).
The Lipid Layer
The outer layer of your tears is called the lipid layer. As the outermost layer, its main responsibility is to prevent your tears from evaporating too quickly so that they remain in the eye.
If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye, Dr. T. Jeff Russell at Infinity Vision can help you get your eyesight back to normal with one of several treatment options. To learn more about dry eye or to schedule an eye exam, contact our office today!
Posted in: Dry Eyes