Ever wondered what the distance is your eyelids travel on a day?
The leaves are falling and the environment is gradually putting on its winter clothes. Now is the time for comfort food and a warming aperitif in front of the fire place.
This is also the season where we become more aware of gritty, sensitive, teary eyes.
Strange then that when we visit our eye care practitioner – we are told that we have “Dry eyes” and then receive some “Artificial tears” as if we do not have an excess of tears blurring our vision in the first place. Most of us end up not using the remedy and further doubt the quality of professional education in South Africa…
Here is the thing: – The term dry eyes typically describes a condition where there is enough tear volume on the eye’s surface (cornea), but this thin tear layer forms small little dry patches here and there. When we then blink our eyes – the inner surface of the lids actually abrades the cells on the surface of the eyes in these dry areas due to a lack of lubrication.
Once this happens we are very sensitive to bright light and wind, and often experience the discomfort as a stinging, burning sensation. We are also more prone to infection of these small irritated areas in the eyes and sometimes the swelling of these cells cause us to see hazy.
The purpose of the artificial tear remedy is actually a solution to the problem as the “Artificial tears” and “Eye lubricants” we prescribe to our patients, assists the tears to ‘stick’ on the eye more evenly and prevents the thin tear layer from evaporation between our individual eye blinks.
If one adds the distance the eye lid travels across the eyes surface and multiplies this with the number of blinks we take in any given day – the eyelids travels:
100m in day, 3.5km in a month and 42km in a year
Having dry eyes…can you bear the thought?
Visit us at our practice in Moreleta Park (012 9987592) or Lynnwood (012 807 6027) to have the quality of your tear layer assessed, and get rid of the gritty, scratchy feeling.