Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the tears and the ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface.
Dry eye is accompanied by increased osmolarity of the tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface.
The lipid layer produced by the meibomian glands acts as a surfactant, as well as an aqueous barrier and provides a smooth optical surface.
It may also act as a barrier against foreign particles and may also have some antimicrobial properties.
The glands are holocrine in nature, and so the secretions contain both polar lipids (aqueous-lipid interface) and nonpolar lipids (air-tear interface) as well as proteinaceous material.
Tears are formed in several glands around the eye. The water layer is produced in the lacrimal gland which is located under the upper eyelid, while several smaller glands in the lids produce the oil and mucus layers.
Each time you blink, the eyelids spread the tears over the eye. It is usually caused by a problem with the tear film that lubricates the eyes. This leads to drying out of eyes followed by inflammation.
When the numerous tear glands in the eye produce fewer tears than they should, there is a chronic lack of lubrication and moisture in the eye, a condition known as Dry Eye Syndrome.
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