Tears aren’t just a sign that you’re upset. They play an essential role in eye care, performing crucial hydration and cleaning functions. Dry eyes result when your tears don’t do the jobs they’re supposed to. Learn more about the role of tears in eye care and how you can treat issues with dry eyes.
The Importance of Tears
Why You Need Tears
Your tear ducts (also known as lacrimal glands) produce three different types of tears: basal, reflex, and emotional. Basal tears provide a constant barrier between your eyes and the elements, while reflex tears help remove foreign particles and other irritants. Emotional tears stem from sadness and happiness among other emotions.
Tears clean and hydrate your eyes to keep them healthy and contaminant-free. They feature three layers, each of which performs different eye care duties. The outer oily or lipid layer creates an effective seal that prevents tears from evaporating too quickly. The middle water layer lubricates the eyes to remove particles and subsequently protect the corneas. This layer also naturally fights bacteria. The inner layer nourishes the cornea while helping tears spread over and stick to the eyes.
Tears protect the eyes from infection and foreign particles, provide them with oxygen and nutrients, and help smooth irregularities (such as protruding blood vessels) so you see clearly and without pain.
How To Combat Dry Eyes
While the body naturally produces fewer tears as it ages, dry eyes can also result from certain drugs such as antihistamines and health issues including rheumatoid arthritis, collagen vascular diseases, and Sjogren's syndrome. Other dry eye factors include seasonal allergies and habits such as smoking. Dry eyes are also common in arid climates. Symptoms of dry eyes include redness, itchiness, light sensitivities, blurry vision, and the feeling that something is caught in your eye.
If you experience any of these symptoms, discuss eye care options with your optometrist. Your eye doctor may recommend artificial tear drops for daily use and ointment for nighttime use depending on the severity of your issue. Drink plenty of water, consume fruit and other hydrating foods, and look into other treatments if your problem continues. Adding a humidifier to your home can also help.
If you’re facing dry eyes, Virginia Ramsey Lind OD will work with you to find a solution. The optometrist, who has served the Fairbanks, AR, area for over 30 years, provides a full suite of eye care services. These include top-brand glasses and contacts, as well as eye disease treatments. Call (907) 456-8028 today to make an appointment, or learn more about eye care services online.