standard-title Dry Eye

Dry Eye

Dry Eye

What Is Dry Eye

Tears are produced by the lacrimal gland. Under normal circumstances, the lacrimal gland secretes enough tears. Dry eye syndrome refers to a condition when tear secretion is insufficient or the quality of tears is poor, the eye surface is not well moisturized.


Components of Tears

The tear film can be divided into 3 layers:

1. The lipid layer:

The outmost layer. Glands beneath the eyelashes produce small amounts of lubricant that help tears stay on the eye surface, preventing them from evaporating.

2. The aqueous layer:

The intermediate layer. It is produced by the lacrimal gland and is the main component of tears.

3. The mucin layer:

The innermost layer. Conjunctival cells secrete a lubricant that makes tears evenly distributed so the eye will not dry up.


Symptoms of Dry Eye

The patient experiences dry eye, foreign body sensation, eye pain, redness, itching, prickly heat or temporary blurred vision. If severe dry eye is not handled properly, a small number of patients suffer from corneal inflammation because of damage to the corneal epidermis, which damages eyesight.


Causes of Dry Eye


Aging and menopause: Tear secretion decreases with age. Dry eye in postmenopausal women may be linked to hormonal changes.


Sjogren’s syndrome: An autoimmune condition where glands that secrete fluid, such as the tear and saliva glands, are affected. The causes are unknown. Besides dry eye, patients may have symptom of dry mouth or rheumatoid arthritis.


Long-term wearers of contact lenses and patients with trachoma or chronic conjunctivitis may suffer from dry eye due to uneven distribution of tears or damage to tear secretion cells.



Ophthalmologists can diagnose dry eye syndrome with various examinations. Tears secretion test (Schirmer’s test) is the most commonly used diagnostic method.




Lubricate the eye with artificial tears.


Prevent the evaporation of tears, for example, wearing protective glasses; or when using heating facilities in winter, increasing indoor humidity.


Block the puncta for tears to stay longer on the eye surface.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for reference only. They are not, and should not be used as, diagnoses, medical treatments or recommendations for any drug. For enquiries, please contact Champion Eye Centre.