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Over 59 million people in the United States suffer from dry eye syndrome, but close to 90% of Americans are unfamiliar with the condition. Dry eye is the term used to describe eyes that either do not produce enough tears or have abnormalities in the tear film composition. Tears are comprised of three layers; an outer oily layer, a middle watery layer, and an inner mucus layer. If the chemical composition of any layer is abnormal, the lubricating properties of the tear film are altered. When the front of the eye becomes dehydrated, nerve endings carry a signal to the glands and cells responsible for tear production. The result is increased tear production. Ironically, one of the symptoms of dry eye is excessive tearing.
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