February 25, 2008

Dry Eye Care: Tears Of Joy

by Earl Moore

It's true to say that water is the 'stuff of life.' Without it, we're basically stuffed! Crops, trees and flowers need it to grow, and humans can't survive for long without it. Engines need oil for lubrication - it's the same old story, time after time. In a similar vein, dry eye care ensures that we maintain the correct level of moisture for our eyes. Have insufficient moisture is something we can't afford to persist.

Healthy Tears

Most folks have heard of 'dry eye' on television, especially in commercials. But exactly what is it? Well, dry eye syndrome occurs when the correct formation of tears is impaired for whatever reason. Sometimes, tears may form but not in an adequate amount. What do tears do? Well, they oil the eyes thus relaxing them. Dry eye becomes more of a problem as you get older and lubrication becomes more of an issue. It has been estimated that around 9 million Americans suffer from dry eye symptoms and maybe up to 30 million suffer from mild dry eye problems.

If you think you might be one of these sufferers, the first stage is being aware of the symptoms. Don't neglect any sight problems you might be experiencing. Listen to your body! You might find your eyes constantly irritated or maybe even suffering from scarring or infection of the cornea. Occasionally, permanent loss of vision can follow, although this is a rare case. The important factor here is to get medical help because if untreated dry eye problems can severely affect the quality of your everyday life.

A Little Protection Goes a Long Long Way

Essential Things to avoid if you happen to suffer from dry eye:

1. Warm rooms 2. Hair dryers 3. Smoke 4. Wind

You might also find that you benefit from wearing eyeglasses instead of contact lenses. Also, humidifiers in rooms (especially bedrooms) have been known to help with the condition. Try tear ointment at bedtime and see if that alleviates your symptoms as well.

Here Comes the Rain

There will be times when dry eye simply cannot be prevented. In these cases, eyedrops can help to alleviate suffering in the short term. In effect, they function as 'fake tears.' The quest to manufacture human-like tears continues in laboratories around the world. One day, scientists will be successful.

Sometimes, in severe cases, the cornea becomes irritated and anti-inflammatory agents are needed to prevent the dry eye condition. Topical steroids can also be used quite effectively, but only in the short term. In the long term, however, this can cause problems and side-effects. Researchers are looking into other avenues of preventing the eye from swelling. One such method is to close the channel from the nose to the eye. Occasionally, small plugs can be inserted to reduce the speed with which tears drain from the eye.

Mother Nature needs moisture. With dry eye care, we are attempting to keep all of the eye moist and for a sustained period.

Earl Moore invites you to discover more about dry eye care by visiting www.eyeviewcare.com where you will find essential information and advice about looking after your vision.