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The Basics of Dry Eye

Dry Eye Syndrome occurs when your eyes do not make the right type of tears, when something affects one or more layers of the tear film or when your eyes don’t produce enough tears.


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3 Layers of Tears

When you blink, a film of tears spreads over the eye, keeping the eye’s surface smooth and clear. The tear film is made of three layers, each with their own purpose.

Oily Layer – makes the tear surface smooth and keeps tears from drying too quickly

Watery Layer – making up most of what we see as tears, this layer cleans the eye, washing away particles that don’t belong there

Mucus Layer – helps spread the watery layer over the eye’s surface, keeping it moist

Causes & Symptoms

Aging and some autoimmune diseases can be causes, as can being in smoke, wind or a dry climate, looking at a computer screen or reading for an extended time, having refractive surgery, taking certain medications and using contact lenses. Common symptoms include:

  • Stinging and burning
  • Blurred vision, especially when reading
  • Painful to wear contacts
  • Scratchy or gritty feeling
  • Strings of mucus around the eyes
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Excess tears in the eyes

Comprehensive Eye Care

From routine eye care to medical and surgical eye treatment, our ophthalmologists and optometrists are focused on your vision and the health of your whole eye.

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