Dry Eyes & Your Tear Film
Before we jump into what can cause dry eyes and their associated symptoms, it’s important to first take a look at how dry eyes affect your tear film.
Your tear film covers your eye’s outer surface and is responsible for keeping your eyes hydrated, comfortable, and nourished.
The tear film is made of 3 distinct ingredients, or layers, each of which plays a role in your eye comfort. If your tear film is lacking any of these ingredients, you may experience dry eye symptoms:
- Mucus is fastened to the surface of your eye and is the innermost layer of the tear film. It is responsible for adhering the tear film to the surface of your eye and spreading it evenly.
- Water is the middle layer of the tear film. It’s responsible for keeping your eyes hydrated and washing away foreign particles (eyelashes, dirt, dust) that may land on your eye’s surface.
- Oil is the outermost layer of your tear film, and it’s responsible for sealing in the rest of the tear film, preventing it from evaporating.