Just as your car’s wiper blades require fluid to glide smoothly over your windshield, your eyes produce their version of wiper fluid-- tears. Over the course of a lifetime our eyes produce about four to five gallons of tears. Tears are the body’s natural process of cleaning and protecting our eyes. Each time we blink, we sweep a little bit of fluid across the eye to wash away debris like dust and small particles. Tears also contain substances to neutralize bacteria and viruses that can gather on the surface of the eye.
When the tear glands don’t produce enough “wiper fluid,” we can experience dry eye syndrome—a condition that can be triggered by conditions from dust to low humidity. In some cases, wearing your contact lenses for too long can also result in dry eyes.
If dry eye syndrome goes unchecked for too long, it can lead to vision damage. If you are experiencing burning or gritty sensations in your eyes, see your ilumin ophthalmologist right away. A routine eye exam will detect the condition and your doctor can prescribe over-the-counter or prescription products to provide your eyes the fluid they need to keep rolling down the road of life.