Our eyes are always covered by a thin layer of liquid, known as the tear film, which helps to protect the eye and keep it feeling comfortable.
Dry Eye is caused when this tear film does not work as it should – either because it does not spread evenly across the front of the eye, or it evaporates too quickly. This can cause the eyes to feel dry or sore, irritated or uncomfortable. It can even temporarily affect your vision.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Around 1 in 13 people in their fifties experience dry eye syndrome and up to a third of people age 65 or older may have dry eye syndrome. It is a long term issue, and it can return even after a period of your eyes feeling better.
Hormones help to stimulate the function of our tear film and the in-balance in hormones experienced by women during menopause may explain why women are more susceptible to dry eye at this time.
Anyone can get dry eye, but it is more common in women and people over sixty-five years old.
How To Treat Dry Eye
Environmental Dry Eye
Environmental dry eye is different from from “normal” dry eye, as it is not caused by ageing or hormonal changes. This kind of dry eye is caused by external environmental factors, such as excessive heating, air conditioning, or dusty places. This can cause the tears to evaporate.
Your eyes can also feel dry after extended periods of computer work. This is because you blink less when you are concentrating on a screen, so the tears are not being spread over the eyes as often. Try to blink consciously and fully several times a minute to avoid the eyes drying out.
Why Do My Eyes Feel Dry Even When They Are Watering?
When your eyes dry out, they sends a signal to your tear glands. This causes the tear glands to over produce the watery part of your tear film, causing the tears to over flow and cause watering. This is sometimes known as Paradoxical Dry Eye.
The tear film has three basic layers, each playing a distinctive role in maintaining eye health and clear sight.
- Oil (lipid) layer: The outermost layer of the tear film. It is a dense and oily layer that seals moisture to the eye, allowing for the free flow of the eyelid over the eye, and smooths out the surface.
- Watery (aqueous) layer: The middle layer of the tear film. It is made up of the water and nutrients responsible for moisturising, nourishing, and protection the eyes from infections.
- Mucus (mucin) layer: The inner layer of the tear film. It allows tears to spread evenly over the surface of the eye, as well as ‘stick’ to the surface of the eye.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Contact us if you experience red eyes, painful eyes, or changes to your vision.
If you suffer from Dry Eye, we recommend you join our Iris Membership Scheme so we can monitor you regularly.
You will also receive discounts on any products purchased to treat this condition.