Dry Eye Syndrome
To help keep your eyes comfortable and your vision optimal, a normal, thin film of tears coats your eyes. Three main layers make up this tear film:
The innermost layer is the thinnest. It is a layer of mucin (mucus). This very thin layer of mucus helps the overlying watery layer to spread evenly over the eye.
The middle (or aqueous) layer is the largest and the thickest. This layer is essentially a very dilute saltwater solution that keeps the eye moist and comfortable and flushes out any dust, debris, or foreign objects that may get into the eye. Defects of this aqueous layer are the most common cause of dry eye syndrome.
The most superficial layer is a very thin layer of fats or oils (lipids). The main function of this is to help decrease evaporation of the watery layer beneath it.
Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a common disorder of the tear film, affecting a significant percentage of the population, especially those older than 40 years of age. People with rosacea are at a greater risk for dry eye.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome can range from feeling like you have something in your eye, to fluctuating vision, dryness, or even a wet eye.
Research indicates that Omega-3s are beneficial to enhancing tear layer production and reducing the symptoms of dry eye. There may also be a benefit to reducing the risk of macular degeneration. We recommend 1500 mg of EPA/DHA, two essential Omega-3s, per day. Diet can also increase your intake of Omega-3s. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovies, and trout are all great sources of Omega-3s.
Although no cure exists for DES, many treatments are available. If you experience the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye, schedule an appointment today.