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TEARS

Tears in the Eyes drain into the tear ducts (small holes in the inner corner of the Eyes) and down through the nose.

Tear fluid contains water, mucin, lipids. lysozyme. ;actoferrin, immunoglobulins, glucose, urea, sodium and potassium.

Lysozymes in the Tears, as a part of the Imuune System, fight against bacterial infection.

How Do Tears Work?

When one blinks, a film of tears spreads over the eye. This keeps the eye’s surface smooth and clear. The tear film is important for good vision.

The tear film is made of three layers:

Each layer of the tear film serves a purpose.

The oily layer is the outside of the tear film. It makes the tear surface smooth and keeps tears from drying up too quickly. This layer is made in the eye’s Meibomian Glands.

The watery layer is the middle of the tear film. It makes up most of what we see as tears. This layer cleans the eye, washing away particles that do not belong in the eye. This layer comes from the Lacrimal Glands that are above the Eyes.

The mucus layer is the inner layer of the tear film. This helps spread the watery layer over the eye’s surface, keeping it moist. Without mucus, tears would not stick to the eye. Mucus is made in the Conjunctiva. This is the clear tissue covering the white of the eye and inside the eyelids.

Normally, our eyes constantly make tears to stay moist. If our eyes are irritated, or we cry, our eyes make a lot of tears. But, sometimes the eyes do not make enough tears or something affects one or more layers of the tear film. In those cases, one can end up with dry eyes.

Here are some of the symptoms of dry eye.

Having a lot of tears in eyes with dry eye might sound odd. But the eyes make more tears when they are irritated by dry eye. These are reflex tears that typically do not stay in the eye. Rather, they run down the eyes, on to the cheeks.

Author
Paddy Kalish OD, JD and B.Arch

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