What You Need to Know About Tear Quality

tear qualityFor those of us who wear contact lenses, one thing is certain—the amount of moisture in your eyes matters. When you think about your eyes drying out, you may think it’s because there isn’t enough moisture or tears being produced in your eye. The actual reason may be that there is a high enough quantity of tears, but the QUALITY is off. So if your tears can be ‘low-quality,’ what makes us quality tears? Can you improve your tear quality if they aren’t getting the job done?

What you need to know about tear quality

1.    Tears are made up of three different substances. Oil, water and mucus each have a different function in order to protect the surface of your eye. The oil makes the surface of the eye smooth and prevents evaporation of water. Mucus helps spread the tears across the entire surface of the eye, and water provides true moisture to the eye. Without mucus, oil won’t coat the eye and without oil, tears evaporate quickly causing eyes to dry out from lack of moisture.

2.    Most people with dry eye problems have inadequate amounts of water in their tears. Though all three substances make your tears “healthy,” the thing that most commonly compromises tear quality is a lack of water. The best way to increase the amount of water in your tears is to stay properly hydrated. If your suffer from dry skin or dry mouth in addition to dry eyes, you definitely need to drink more water to alleviate these symptoms and boost tear quality.

3.    You can have your tear quality tested. Schedule a comprehensive eye examination and you can find out how good your tear quality is. Optometrists can use dye in the eyes to observe tear flow and changes to the outer surface of the eye caused by insufficient tears.

4.    If your tear quality is lacking, there are medicines that can help. If you are suffering from chronic dry eye or occasional dry eye, talk to your optometrist! There are over-the-counter or prescription medications that can help increase the quantity and quality of your tears.

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