Our eyes need tears to remain healthy and comfortable. If your eyes do not produce enough tears or it has a problem with the production of tears it is called dry eyes.
How do tears work?
When you blink, a tear film spreads over the front of the eye. This ensures the eye’s surface to remain smooth and clear. The tear film is of utmost importance in ensuring good vision. Each layer of the tear film serves a very specific purpose.
The tear film is made of three layers:
- An oily layer
The oily layer comprises the outside of the tear film. It ensures the tear surface to be smooth as well as keeping the tears from drying up too fast. This layer is produced in the eye’s meibomian glands.
- A watery layer
The watery layer comprises the middle of the tear film. It makes up the majority of tears. This layer ensures cleaning of the eye and washing away particles that do not belong in the eye. This layer comes from the lacrimal glands in the eyelids.
- A mucus layer
The mucus layer comprises the inner layer of the tear film. It helps spread the watery layer over the eye’s surface, ensuring it is moist. Without mucus, tears would not “stick” to the eye. Mucus is produced in the conjunctiva (the clear tissue covering the white of your eye and inside your eyelids).
Normally, our eyes constantly produce tears to stay moist. If our eyes are irritated, or we cry, our eyes produce 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.