Tears are not simple. The doctors at our Vancouver dry eye clinic thoroughly analyze the make-up of a patient's tears in order to find the root cause of their dry eye disease.
Healthy tears are composed of three layers: aqueous, lipid and mucin. The oily lipid layer sits on top of the aqueous layer to prevent evaporation. The mucin layer is the layer closest to the clear surface of the cornea of the eye and is sticky, allowing the tear film to spread over the eye and stick to it. If you have deficiencies in any of these three components of healthy tears, you will probably have symptoms of ocular surface disease or dry eye disease.
Sometimes the glands in the eye that produce one of the three layers is not functioning properly. If that is they case, your dry eye doctor will select the appropriate treatment to fix the problem and get your eyes producing natural tears in a healthy way. If this is not possible, it may be necessary to use eye drops. Again, it is important to take your dry eye doctor's advice on which drops to use because your particular tear problems may not be solved by just any drop.
Your dry eye doctor may examine your eye and eye lids though high-power magnifying glasses to assess the health and functioning of the glands that produce tear film. The most important glands are the meibomian glands found in your eyelids, as poorly functioning meibomian glads are responsible for 85% of dry eye disease.