Tears aren’t just for expressing your emotions when you are sad and overwhelmed… they keep your eyes moistened and healthy! Dry Eye happens when your eyes do not produce enough tears or not the right type of tears. This can be a very uncomfortable eye condition, especially in the dryer months where your eyes may be exposed to cooler temperatures and winds.
Let’s Talk About Tears
Before we talk about Dry Eye, we first must address tears and how they work to benefit our eyes. When we blink, a thin layer of moisture called the “tear film.” This is made up of three separate layers – an oily layer, a watery layer, and a mucous layer.
The oily layer is the outside of the tear film. It makes the tear surface smooth and keeps tears from drying up too quickly. This layer is made in the eye’s meibomian glands.
The watery layer is the middle of the tear film. It makes up most of what we see as tears. This layer cleans the eye, washing away particles that do not belong in the eye. This layer comes from the lacrimal glands in the eyelids.
The mucus layer is the inner layer of the tear film. This helps spread the watery layer over the eye’s surface, keeping it moist. Without mucus, tears would not stick to the eye. Mucus is made in the conjunctiva. This is the clear tissue covering the white of your eye and inside your eyelids.
Normally, our eyes constantly make tears to stay moist. If our eyes are irritated, or we cry, our eyes make a lot of tears. But, sometimes the eyes don’t make enough tears or something affects one or more layers of the tear film. In those cases, we end up with dry eyes.
Dry Eye and Its Symptoms and Causes
If you are suffering from Dry Eye, you may have blurred vision (especially when reading), itchy or stinging eyes, visibly red or irritated eyes, and difficulty wearing contact lenses. This may seem contradictory, but two other symptoms of Dry Eye include having mucous around your eyes or having an abundance of tears in your eyes.
Dry Eye is more noticeable as we age due to hormonal changes in our bodies. While both men and women can be subject to Dry Eye, women who go through menopause may be at a higher risk. Dry Eye can also be caused by pre-existing conditions, receiving LASIK eye surgery, wearing contact lenses for long periods of time, living in a dry climate, staring at a digital screen for long periods of time, and taking certain medications.
So, there are many symptoms and many causes of Dry Eye! Thankfully there are things that we can do to help ease these symptoms.
Many opt to use eye drops, or artificial tears, daily to help moisten their eyes. While this is a very common way to ease symptoms, many of those who suffer from Dry Eye report that they don’t feel as though eye drops can help. That is why we developed our Dry Eye Formula! This ocular supplement was created to combat these symptoms from the inside out by nourishing our bodies with the nutrient it needs that our diet doesn’t typically give us!