Archive | February, 2012

Understanding Tear Film and Eye Hydration Could Prevent Dry Eye

23 Feb

Bio Logic Aqua Research is a premier water technology company, specializing in products that support moisture in the skin and eyes.

According to Sharon Kleyne, Founder of Bio-Logic Aqua Research, understanding eye hydration and the eyes’ all-important tear film and could help prevent dry eye disease.

Especially important is the environment’s role as a cause of dry eye.

Eye dehydration and tear film water loss can weaken resistance to bacterial and viral invasion, impair visual functioning and lead to numerous eye diseases and conditions.

Dehydration related eye conditions include itching and/or burning eyes, blurred vision, transient dry eye syndrome, severe dry eye syndrome, corneal ulceration, glaucoma, computer eye strain, eye allergies, eye cancers and more.

According to Sharon Kleyne, the incidence of eye dehydration and dry eye has dramatically increased in the past 20 years and is becoming a global health crisis. Much of the increase can be attributed to environmental factors.

Environmental factors that could dehydrate the eyes and tear film could include:

Indoor conditions such as forced-air heating and cooling and insulated walls and windows.

Lifestyle choices and personal habits that could contribute to eye dehydration include wearing contact lenses, prolonged computer use, participation in extreme sports (with lots of perspiration and exposure to heat and sun), caffeine and alcohol consumption, not drinking enough water, too much time spent indoors, cigarette smoking, medications, etc.

Exposure to smoke, dust, wind, extreme heat and cold and other outdoor conditions could also contribute to eye dehydration.

A major contributor to eye dehydration is global climate change because the tear film obtains much of its water from the surrounding humidity in the air. In many areas, the air in becoming dryer and the humidity lower. This lowers the potential for hydration from the air and increases tear film water evaporation.

Even where the air is not dry, the humidity could be contaminated by air pollution, creating dehydrating and unhealthy conditions.

A Natural Approach to Eye Care

15 Feb

Michael Edson, MS (Naw Paltz, NY). Co-founder of Natural Eye Care (with Dr. Marc Grossman). “Natural approaches to macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, floaters, dry eyes, myopia and presbyopia.”

Michael Edson works with Dr. Marc Grossman in the field of natural eye care. He is trained in Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and also in Asian martial arts. He was in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square incident. He recently spoke with Sharon Kleyne on the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water radio talk show.

Sharon wondered why the Chinese are so divergent from the West in their medical practice. Edson said there are many theories on how acupuncture originated but that they mostly were not in touch with western medicine or the Greek way of thinking (scientific method). They began to notice the effect of touching the body in various places and over thousands of years, a sophisticated system developed. They also pay attention to body color, smell and shape, and symptoms in the tongue and iris.

Eventually, this was boiled down to a theory of “meridians,” that energy flows through the body in channels or rivers. Water is important because it keeps the meridians flowing and also washes out waste (it must be pure water, not soda, juice, tea or coffee).

Edson practices aikido, which is a martial art emphasizing no winner or loser. When attacked, the objective is to neutralize the opponent to show them they can’t beat you, then negotiate the problem. Blows are redirected and the opponent is disabled. There is a strong spiritual aspect to this and negative energy is avoided.

Tai chi focuses on self healing and martial arts; karate is more internal with an emphasis on healing. People need to believe they have power and control over their own lives and that they are part of the Earth and their community. Martial arts can be very helpful with this.

Regarding health, Edson noted that quick fixes are usually not that effective and that most illness is caused by a chronic imbalance going back a long way. Disease can take years to develop and a lifestyle change can take years to correct the imbalance. Water, allergies and stress are all involved.

Regarding nutrition, everyone is different. The Eskimos require a lot of meat and fat, which are slow burning. Edson is against refined carbohydrates, which he says can cause autoimmune disease (and sugar is cancer causing).

Sharon noted that sodium may not be as bad as doctors would have you believe. It helps you retain water.

Mike talked about intestinal or digestive flora (bacteria), especially candida. An imbalance of digestive flora can lead to numerous diseases and allergies. “Probiotics” help to rebalance digestive flora. E coli is a common stomach flora as is lactobacillus.

Edson recommends a diet that is 80% alkaline and 20% acidic. Meat and carbohydrates are acidic and acid can cause the release of inflammatory hormones.

Regarding meditation, the simplest way to get started is to buy a “guided meditation” tape. It promotes deep relaxation and activates lesser used parts of the brain.

Edson expressed concern that some children never experience a state of no stress. Both are needed to thrive – a “yin-yang” balance.

Regarding natural eye care, Edson recommends his website with Dr. Grossman, www.naturaleyecare.com. It lists many proactive measures you can take to promote good vision and healthy eyes. They also have a free booklet of eye exercises and acupressure points for the eye.

Allergy Eye Relief Education

1 Feb

The eye’s first line of defense against allergies is the complex and extremely thin tear film that covers the optical surface. Numerous environmental factors, from air pollution to air conditioning, can cause evaporation that result in slight, moderate or even severe tear film moisture loss (dehydration). This may be so slight that you don’t feel any symptoms. However, if you happen to be sensitive to allergens such as pollen, the allergic reaction will be more severe if your tear film is not functioning at full capacity. Bio Logic Aqua Technologies Biomedical Research Center has discovered that the best (and least expensive) way to mitigate the effect of allergens and other airborne irritants on the eyes is to pay attention to the health of your tear film.

An “allergy” may be defined as “an adverse immunological reaction to a substance that normally does not produce such a reaction.” Adverse reactions to things like pollen, mold spores and pet dander (called “allergens”), are an allergy because most people are not bothered by them. An adverse reaction to cigarette smoke or bee stings is not technically an allergy because nearly everybody reacts to them.

The typical allergic reaction produces symptoms in the eyes, breathing passages and skin. Some allergens only bother the eyes. This article will concern itself only with the effects of allergies on the eyes — even if the same allergy also affects other areas — and how to help defend the eyes not only against allergens but all airborne irritants.

It is common knowledge among specialists that allergy eye (especially pollen allergies) is worse in hot, dry weather and better in cool, humid weather. That is because many allergy eye symptoms result from dehydration of the tear film’s aqueous (water) layer, thereby creating an over-concentration of irritants and allergens. Reflex tearing tries to wash out these irritants and restore the tear film’s chemical and moisture balance. However, the reflex tears themselves may contain histamines and chemical imbalances.

Standard remedies such as eye drops and redness relievers may be ineffective against allergy eye because they can wash away the natural tear film, including the evaporation-slowing lipid layer. Chemicals in these products can create their own adverse reactions.

The best way to soothe allergy eye, and mitigate the effect of environmental challenges that dehydrate the tear film, is to emulate cool, humid weather by adding add pure, pH-balanced humidity to the air around the eyes. The humid mist will find its way into the tear film’s aqueous layer in just the right amount (two to five nanoliters) to help alleviate symptoms naturally and without harsh medicines, drops or chemical formulations.