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Normally, a well-balanced system keeps eyes healthy and comfortable. Each time we blink, our eyelids spread tears over our eyes, keeping them moist while creating a smooth and clear surface.
Dry eyes can develop when we do not produce enough tears, or the composition is thrown off. Three layers form each tear:
Oil from the meibomian glands in the eyelid, which forms a smooth surface and slows evaporation
Water from the lacrimal glands in the eyelid, which flushes out particles and irritants (the component most people equate with tears)
Mucus from the conjunctiva to help tears stick to the eye
Dry eyes are one of the most common complaints we receive. Sometimes the cause is simple and easily treatable. But at other times the condition is complex, and doctors are still learning about the full composition of tears.
Stanford Dry Eye Expertise
Our team treats the full range of dry eye cases. We have the expertise to distinguish between common causes and those that are more unusual, recognizing specific deficiencies in production of tears or their composition. Our program offers:
Top doctors: Care often starts with experienced ophthalmologists who treat a variety of eye problems. When needed, they work closely with eye doctors who have received additional fellowship training in even more specialized fields. These doctors include:
Uveitis specialists to evaluate any inflammation
Oculoplastic surgeons to examine the structure and operation of the eyelids
Corneal specialists to look for damage on the front of the eye
Research: We are conducting research into why dry eye happens and how best to treat it, with clinical trials as part of that effort.