What Are the Causes of Film on Eye?

A layer of film on the eye, though inconvenient and uncomfortable, usually does not signal a serious health condition. To maintain eye health, a healthy diet and proper hygiene usually suffice. If the film on your eye does not clear after a few days, consult a ophthalmologist or physician.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Dry Eye

Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce enough tears naturally 1. Normally, the human eye produces a multilayer tear that constantly bathes the eye in moisture. The oil, mucus and water layers of the tear must refresh constantly on the eye, or the eye develops a "film" layer.


Meibomianitis develops when the meibomian glands are swollen from allergies, adolescence or skin conditions such as rosacea. When swollen, the meibomian glands produce an eye tear with excess of oil 1. This oil collects on the eyelids and covers the eye with a film layer. The film layer worsens as bacteria grows on the oily surface.


Blepharitis develops from inflamed eyelids and is another source of eye film. Anterior blepharitis develops on the skin where the eyelashes attach to the lid, and posterior blepharitis occurs on the inside portion of the lid that rests on the eyeball. Dandruff, bacteria or skin infections rubbed into the eye are the most common causes of blepharitis.