The tear film is made up of three layers: an oil layer, a water layer and a mucus layer. If there is dysfunction of any layer of the tear film, it can cause dry eyes.
There are many factors that can contribute to dry eyes, including age, environmental influences, side effects of medications, certain medical conditions, contact lenses and hormonal changes. Symptoms of dry eye may include:
- Increased tearing
- A scratchy or gritty feeling
- Red, irritated eyes
Treatment is dependent on which layer(s) of the tear film are involved. Some treatment options may include artificial tears, lid hygiene, topical cyclosporine, punctal plugs and omega fatty acid supplements.
Contact Physicians Eye Clinic if you feel you have dry eye symptoms and would like to discuss treatment options.