Dry eye

The tear film which covers the eye surface is made up of three layers: an oily layer, a watery layer, a layer of mucous.   Dry eye is a common eye condition which occurs when either tear production or quality of tears is deficient.  This results in unprotected areas on the eye surface, leading to eye symptoms of irritation, grittiness, scratching and burning.  Dry eye can also cause excess tearing as a response to the discomfort, making eyes watery and red.  There is also sometimes a complaint of blurry or filmy vision.

Causes of dry eye include age, hormonal changes, some medications for common health conditions, inflammatory diseases, along with environmental factors like air conditioning, fans, heating, wind, and tasks which reduce your blink rate (like computer use).  Treatments vary widely depending on your condition.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of dry eye, make an appointment with your eye care professional.