Did you know that there are 3 layers to your tears? The layer closest to your eye consists of mucus that adheres the tears to your eye. The bulky middle layer is the aqueous or watery part of your tears. It carries enzymes in it that fight infection from bacteria that find a way into your eye and rinses the eye clean. And then there is the outer most oily layer of your tears. This is the layer that keeps all of the other layers from evaporating and allows your eyelid to easily glide over the surface of your eye with each blink. This is the layer that is affected by the french fries you ate this weekend and the buttered popcorn you had at the movie theater last night. Diets that are high in saturated fats create evaporative dry eye problems. And what about all of that caffeine you had this morning to get you going on a Monday morning? If you didn’t drink enough water to compensate for all of the fluids pulled from your body by that tall peppermint mocha, your eye may look and feel like the Sahara under a microscope! There are dozens of drops at the drug store that treat dry eye. Excessive use of some of these preserved drops (ie Visine) can wipe out the cells that produce the mucus layer of your tears. A deficiency in any one of the 3 layers of your tears can lead to red, dry, irritated and watery eyes. If you have symptoms of dry eye, see your eye doctor to determine where exactly the problem lies and what the best treatment is for your eyes.
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