Did you know Dry Eye syndrome affects around 1 in 13 people over the age of 50?
By the age of 65 you will have a 1 in 3 chance of having this uncomfortable condition. So what causes Dry Eye Syndrome? There are 3 main reasons dry eye occurs.
Over flowing tears due to a blocked puncta (drainage system).
Overflowing tears due to a lack of muscle tone within the eye lids. This condition is called Ectropion and is most commonly caused by aging although there are various other potential causes. The treatment of this condition is usually surgery and to relieve symptoms eye drops would be administered.
The most common cause of dry eye is a lack of oil in your tears. The tear film is made up of three parts.
OIL (LIPID) LAYER: The outer layer of our tear film is an oil or lipid-based layer. Its main purpose is to seal the tear film which helps reduce evaporation of our natural tears.
WATER (AQUEOUS) LAYER: The middle layer is mostly comprised of water. Its job is to lubricate the eye, wash away particles and prevent infection.
MUCIN LAYER: The inner layer is the mucin layer. The mucin layer allows the watery layer to spread evenly over the surface of the eye and helps the eye remain moist and lubricated. It also provides the underlying cornea with nourishment. This layer helps the tears stick to the surface of the eye.
In August 2018 a team of scientists discovered a class of lipids called OAHFAs. These lipids are thought to be the most important discovery to be made in the fight against Dry eye Syndrome. It is now hoped that scientists can synthetically build the molecular composition of these lipids, which could then be administered as a drop ending the problem of dry eye syndrome.
We will keep you posted on these breakthroughs as they happen.