Classification of Artificial Tears

I: Composition and Properties

  • J. Murube
  • A. Paterson
  • E. Murube

Chapter


Part of the
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology[2]
book series (AEMB, volume 438)

Abstract

Natural tears serve three main functions: they maintain the metabolism of the ocular surface tissues, afford a smooth surface that allows regular light refraction, and lubricate the ocular surface to facilitate blinking. They also have other functions, such as specific and non-specific antimicrobial and buffer effects, etc. Natural tears have a complex composition, water being the major component (98–98.5%), as well as salts, hydrocarbons, proteins, and lipids. There are two types of tear components: structural and active. The structural components of tears are rather abundant, and are the basis of the three-layered architecture of the tear film (lipid, aqueous, and mucinic) because of their physical and chemical properties. The active components of tears are very scarce, and act as nutrients, antimicrobials, enzymes, messengers, inhibitors, etc. Some tear components may serve both types of functions.

Keywords

Corneal Epithelium Lipid Layer Polyacrylic Acid Oncotic Pressure Artificial Tear 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Murube
  • A. Paterson
  • E. Murube
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyHospital Ramon y CajalMadridSpain

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