With the recent influx of colder dry air in Miami Beach, our optometrist has seen a rise in dry eye complaints. Dry air can exacerbate already existing ocular surface dryness that may be a chronic issue. If you wear contact lenses the problem can be even further compounded. Over the last few years we have learned that the definition and classification of these two conditions are evolving. How we interpret each conditions role has changed considerably due to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of the diseases. Today, we know that “dry eye” isn’t just a simple reduction of tear volume, but rather, “Dysfunctional Tear Syndrome” is a complex inflammatory disease that has a progressive nature. When there is a deficiency in any one or more of the tear film layers, it can lead to dry eyes. Let’s discuss the tear components and consider the primary source and function of each layer:
Mucin layer (goblet cells on the conjunctiva): coats the cornea with a smooth layer of lubrication, which allows the tear film to spread evenly over the eye surface.
Aqueous layer (lacrimal gland above the upper eyelid): provides moisture, oxygen and nutrients to the cornea and is composed of about 98% water.
Lipid layer (meibomian glands in top and bottom eyelids): acts to prevent evaporation of the tear film from the eye.
How to care for your eyes in South Beach
In recent years, we have realized that the tear film isn’t 3 separate layers, but rather a complex mixture of these components. If any of the components are deficient then we can have ocular surface inflammation or dry eye.
Which South Beach optometrist can help you
The only way to identify which cause of dysfunctional tear syndrome you have is a professional comprehensive eye exam at your optometrist’s office. We can identify the components that are deficient and create an appropriate plan with supplements, medications, and hygiene. If you suffer from dryness please call South Beach Vision today at 305-877-2026. We are the Miami Beach dry eye experts and we can help you.