The Latest Trends In Dry Eye Research
Do you suffer from dry eyes? You are not alone. We all suffer dry eyes occasionally. In fact, dry eyes is such a common phenomenon, it seems just about everyone is talking about it these days.
A recent study conducted at the University of Western Sydney suggests scientists need approach dry eyes in a new, more constructive manner. Associate professor Mr. Millar, who directed the study, suggests researchers need to learn more about natural tears to understand how to better treat eyes that do not tear.
It makes sense if you think about it.
Tears - What They Do And Why We Love Them
Tears, what do they do, and why do we love them so? Natural tears are critical to our health and wellness. They help protect the eyes. They lubricate our eyes and protect the cornea and surrounding tissues. Tears are not simply the byproducts of crying, though they flow with ease during times of sadness or great emotion.
Natural tears, the kind that keep our eyes moist and lubricated, help our eyes focus and see clearly, without obstruction. Without tears, it would be as if we tried to look at the world through a filtered screen.
What Dry Eyes Are And How To Deal
Everyone suffers from dry eyes some of the time, and many people suffer much of the time. Usually occasional bouts of dry eyes occur from illness, injury or exposure to harsh environmental conditions (like too much wind).
Some people experience dry eyes following eye surgery, including corrective procedures like LASIK, which over time improve vision.
Usually dry eye is a temporary condition, but for some dry eye can present chronic problems. With time, the constant evaporation of tears in the eyes can lead to irritation, scratchy eyes and blurry vision. Someone with chronic dry eye may find their eyes strain too often when trying to read or work with computers.
So how does one go about solving the problem of dry eyes? Traditionally, doctors prescribed over-the-counter treatments, or artificial tears to patients with dry eyes. Some patients, those with severe problems, can get prescription tears that are more powerful than the OTC brands.
Research Millar however, believes the best way to cure dry eye is to solve the mystery of how and why they eye tears and why in some cases, it chooses not to. As with anything, the only way to cure a problem is to understand the true nature of the cause of the problem.
What We Know About Tears
Here is what we do know about tears so far, at least according to recent research. After 14 years of study, Millar suggests the key to understanding dry eyes is understanding how the liquid tear in the eye interacts with air, and causes tears to evaporate. Previously, researchers believed the water comprising tears contained proteins limited to the teardrop alone. New research however, demonstrates that proteins exist at the surface and around the tear.
Why is this important? It is the outer proteins that affect the way tears evaporate or break-up. The proteins on the surface, not within the tear, determine how quickly tears evaporate, and cause dry eyes.
A Cure For Dry Eyes On The Horizon
So what does this mean for the average person? A cure for dry eyes may be around sooner than we think. Researchers to this point in time have focused much of their energy on studying and understanding the internal workings of the tear.
Now, researchers can focus their attention on the outer surface, and hopefully discover new tools for slowing the rate at which tears dissolve or evaporate into the air. According to Millar and other researchers working at the University of Western Sydney, the key to solving the mystery of dry eyes will be creating an almost natural teardrop that will evaporate slowly, so that dry eyes become less of a problem.
Using this theory, one would rely far less on artificial tears, or at least have to invest in new bottles less frequently than in times of old.
Want more information about dry eyes or artificial tears? Simply click the links below:
Study of Artificial Tears and Efficacy, PubMed
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Dry Eyes & Menopause - New Relief Ahead
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