DRIVEN TO TEARS: OSU researcher finds class of oils that might be tied to irritating dry-eye disorder
Nichols and a team of researchers discovered a new class of lipids, or fats, called amides.
One of these lipids is oleamide.
"The amount of oleamide and related lipids may be related to dry-eye," Nichols said. "Either the eye doesn?t make enough tears or the composition of the tears is out of balance."
Dr. James Aquavella, an eye specialist and researcher at the University of Rochester Eye Institute in New York, said the new finding is important.
"The identification of this class of lipids is unusual, and it may be ? an important contribution" to dry-eye research, he said.