What is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye disease, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a condition that results in the inflammation of the eye and the tear-producing glands.
This inflammation decreases the eye’s ability to produce normal tears that protect the eye from irritation and keep it moisturized and lubricated.
The tear film is composed of three intermingling layers:
Oily Layer - Outermost layer prevents evaporation
Watery Layer - Middle layer moisturizes the eye
Mucous Layer - Inner layer allows adherence between the eye and the watery layer
Since the tear film is exposed directly to the air, the protective lipid layer is essential for maintaining a healthy film on they eye. When the protective lipid layer of the tear film is lacking, often caused by a blockage or obstruction of the eyelids meibomian glands, the result can cause a variety of problems including fluctuating vision, burning, grittiness, and even excessive tearing.