Healthy eyes have a constant layer of tears, or “tear film” that keeps them nourished and protected. An unbalanced tear film will be manifest in ocular discomfort and damage to the surface of your eyes. This condition is known as Dry Eye Disease. The best way to measure the extent of this imbalance is to have your eye doctor measure your tear film osmolarity, according to Dr. Elaine Happ.
“Using the results of tear osmolarity testing, we implement a treatment program using Omega 3 supplements and tear replacement drops “ says Dr. Happ. “Depending on the severity of the condition, we may also recommend punctal plugs, anti-inflammatory drops or prescription strength artificial tears.”
Some factors that contribute to Dry Eye Disease are ones we cannot control, like aging and gender (women are more likely to suffer from DED). Some medications and radiation therapies can contribute to the condition. Other factors known to affect the health of our tear film are intense visual concentration, such as TV watching and computer use, a diet low in vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acids, exposure to dry and windy environments, smoking, and having refractive surgery, such as LASIK.