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Preventing and Lessening Eye Injuries

13 Jun

Eye Protection and Emergency First Aid

Note: According to the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary (1995), “to injure” is defined as, “to impair the soundness of.” Based on this extremely broad definition, the term “eye injury,” as used by eye care and emergency professionals, can refer to conditions ranging from the mildly uncomfortable (soap in the eye or squinting due to air pollution) to catastrophic trauma (eye penetration by a foreign object).

Eyesight Threats.

” In an emergency, eyesight threats may arise from smoke, heat, dust, fumes, airborne chemicals and particles, perspiration into the tear film, tear gas and pepper spray, mechanical injuries and impact trauma from flying objects. Injuries from of these threats may often be prevented or lessened through good eye safety practices.

” Eyesight threats may also be present in non-emergency situations. They could be caused by cleaning fluid fumes, auto exhaust, slicing onions, prolonged computer use, perspiration into the tear film, an eyelash in the eye, home shop accidents, and even insulated windows and walls and forced-air heating and cooling (which can be dehydrating to the eye’s protective tear film). These injuries may also be prevented or mitigated with good eye safety practices.

” Unprotected exposure to these eyesight threats could result in consequences ranging from mild eye discomfort to serious and permanent eye damage. Symptoms could include blurred or impaired vision, pain, dehydration (dry eye), eye strain; burning, itchy or watery eyes; eye diseases and serious physical injury (catastrophic trauma). Symptoms may be mild (sub-acute) or temporarily disorienting, or they could result in permanent eye damage and eyesight impairment or loss.

Eye Protection and First Aid.

  • Remember that in an emergency such as a burning building, impaired eyesight from dust, smoke, fumes or perspiration, could make it more difficult or impossible to get out and could cost you your life.
  • Healthy, well hydrated eyes will serve you far better in an emergency. It pays to educate yourself about eye care and practice good eye health on a daily basis.
  • Before engaging in an activity where eye injuries could occur, always:
    • Know what to do in an emergency.
    • Have a predetermined emergency first aid plan for eye and other injuries.
    • Follow good safety precautions and procedures.
    • Have emergency first aid materials available.
  • The best way to prevent eye injuries, especially from foreign objects and harmful substances, is to wear protective eyewear when in high risk situations. If you have corrective lenses, you are less likely to have an accident if you wear them.
  • Chronically dehydrated eyes, which lack sufficient moisture (water) in the protective overlying tear film, are more susceptible to certain eye injuries than fully hydrated eyes.

Specific Situations.

Fumes, smoke, tear gas, pepper spray, airborne chemicals. These conditions can make it difficult or impossible to see in an emergency and may cause permanent damage. They can also create discomfort by altering the tear film’s pH (acidity/alkalinity), osmolarity (moisture attracting ability) and moisture content. Protective eyewear helps shield eyes from certain airborne irritants. Should discomfort become extreme, irrigate eyes with a sterile eye wash spray such as Bio Med Wash, other eye wash devices, or water from a plumbed eyewash station.

Chemical or thermal burns to eyes, eyelids or skin. Spray or irrigate eyes with copious amounts of water or liquid (Bio Med Wash spray, other eye wash devices or a plumbed eyewash station). Do not blot burned areas unless caused by a chemical, such as pepper spray or tear gas that will continue to burn unless removed. If injury is severe, bandage and seek immediate medical assistance. Keep burned areas moist by spraying with a water mist. (Note: Some chemical eye washes may compound the negative effect of harmful chemicals.)

Perspiration and sunburn. Solar exposure is dehydrating to both eyes and skin and could increase perspiration run-off into the eyes, thus increasing the tear film’s salt concentration and causing discomfort. Sunburn is extremely dehydrating to eyes, and to eyelid skin that protects the eyes. Drink plenty of water during extended solar exposure or during situations that make you perspire. Water with added salt is best (a Gatorade type drink). The amount of needed water increases with temperature and activity level, but eight glasses per day are recommended. Moisturize eyes and skin with a water eye and facial mist and by drinking plenty of water.

Foreign objects (catastrophic trauma). For small objects such as sand or metal filings, irrigate and flush the affected eye with copious amounts of water, from either an all-water eye spray, plumbed eyewash station or other eye wash system, until the object(s) is removed. If there is (or if you suspect) penetration, severe pain, profuse watering or corneal scratching, bandage the eye and seek medical attention. Do not try to wash out particles that have penetrated the corneal membrane.

Contact lenses. For most eye injuries, if there is a contact lens in the eye, leave it place while flushing, irrigating or bandaging. Remove the lens only when first aid treatment is completed and the eye begins to feel normal.

Eye strain, stress, fatigue and allergies can cause body, eyes and skin to lose moisture and cause eye discomfort. Moisturize the eyes with a water mist and by drinking plenty of water.

Low humidity, heat, cold and wind increase moisture evaporation from the body’s external surfaces (eyes, skin, breathing passages) causing skin chapping, eye discomfort, dry eye, etc. Low humidity may become an eye threat in both warm and cold weather. Moisturize the eyes with a water mist and by drinking plenty of water.

© 2011 Bio-Logic Aqua Research All Rights Reserved

Contact Lens Dry Eye – The All-Natural Solution

12 May

Contact Lens Discomfort may be Caused by Dry Eye, and by Water Loss in the Eyes’ Tear Film

Contact lens dry eye.

As technologically miraculous as modern contact lenses are, too many people are still only able to wear them for short periods, while many others cannot tolerate them at all. A primary reason for contact lens discomfort is a condition called “contract lens dry eye.” Even for those who tolerate contact lenses reasonably well, the lenses often cause discomfort that can increase over time.

This is unfortunate because for 28 million people, contact lenses make the difference between seeing clearly in all directions or confinement to inconvenient and distorting eyeglasses. With the many contact lens choices available these days, they should provide an invaluable benefit to millions with poor eyesight.

The good news is that for those with low contact lens tolerance, or who suffer from contact lens dry eye, there are now ways to minimize the discomfort

The amazing tear film.

Contact lenses (both hard lenses and soft lenses) float on the surface of the delicate and complex tear film that covers the exposed parts of the eye, and rely on the tear film’s natural moisture (water) to maintain their pliability, integrity and adherence. Surface tension of the tear film’s moisture prevents the lenses from falling out.

The problem is that contact lenses deplete the tear film’s moisture content and interfere with healthy tear film functioning. Soft lenses, and gas permeable lenses, have been compared to “miniature sponges” because of the tear film water they soak up. Even rigid lenses deplete some tear film moisture. In addition, all lenses, even gas permeable lenses, reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the corneal surface. Rigid lenses restrict oxygen the most, which is why they are smaller.

Tear film function and structure.

The tear film covering the exposed eye surface is amazingly complex, considering that it is only about five microns (millionths of a meter) thick.

Tear film components:

Lipid layer. This topmost layer is comprised of a thin film of fatty oil that lubricates the eyelid and slows water evaporation from the lower layers.

Aqueous layer. The middle and thickest layer contains the vast majority of the tear film’s water. This is where most water evaporation occurs. The layer also contains electrolytes, proteins and bacteria-fighting antibodies. It provides oxygenated water that allows the cornea to breathe.

Mucin layer. This bottom layer glues the tear film to the optical surface.

Dry eyes and irritated eyes.

When tear film water is depleted, the resulting abnormal changes can make the eyes feel uncomfortable. The most physically irritating results of tear film water loss are an over-concentration of electrolyte (salt) and proteins in the aqueous layer. Insufficient oxygen in the aqueous layer can also cause discomfort. Discomfort can include itching, burning, irritation, eyestrain, headache, etc.

Soothing dry, irritated eyes.

Soothing contact lens dry eye, or dry eye from any other cause, is simple and logical: Add water to the tear film! In the past 110 years of medical eye research, this has proved an elusive objective.

Getting the moisture past the overlying lipid layer has been a challenge. As it turns out, our eyes already know how to accomplish this trick. In fact, the tear film can extract all the water it needs from the humidity in the air, provided the air is reasonably humid (70% at 70 degrees), and the humidity droplets are pure and unpolluted.

The standard solution to dry eyes has always been eye drops even though the typical eye drop is ten times larger than the volume of the entire tear film. When applied, eye drops can flood and wash away the natural tear film, including lipids and beneficial antibodies. Despite their complex chemistry, formulated eye drops lack one ingredient: all-natural, pH-balanced water.

Drawbacks to eye drops and wetting agents:

  • You must remove your contact lenses to apply.
  • Some people are allergic to the chemicals and preservatives.
  • Eyedroppers can cause injury.
  • SApplying eye drops can be difficult.

The solution.

Nature’s Tears EyeMist is the first effective, all-natural alternative to formulated eye drops for dry eye. Millions of contact lens wearers now obtain instant relief from dry, irritated eyes – without eye drops.

Nature’s Tears EyeMist provides all-natural water to the aqueous layer through an ultra-pure, ultra-fine eye mist. In most cases, all that is required to restore the tear film’s water content is two to five nanoliters (billionths of a liter), which is far too little to apply with an eyedropper. The mist application also oxygenates the water, increasing the aqueous layer’s oxygen content.

For optimal results, apply Nature’s Tears EyeMist immediately before applying eye drops. Since Nature’s Tears EyeMist has no dosage limit, it may also be applied between eye drop applications, or when eye drops are not convenient.

Nature’s Tears EyeMist Aims to Wipe Out Surfer’s Eye

14 Mar

Pterygium Is Pterrible.
“Pterygium” is to the sport of wave surfing as tennis elbow is to tennis. In short, you don’t want any part of it and a wise surfer will do whatever it takes to avoid it. Make no mistake, if you are a surfer, you are definitely at risk. If you are a surfer who experiences frequent eye discomfort (as most surfers do), and who uses no eye protection, you could be at extreme risk.

The good news is that while pterygium is curable only by surgery, it is easily preventable. This article will offer the latest education about the condition known as “pterygium” or “surfer’s eye,” including some information you probably haven’t heard before, to help you enjoy your sport while maintaining strong, healthy eyes.

What Causes “Surfer’s Eye”?
The word pterygium is Greek for “wing.” Pterygium can occur elsewhere on the body but we are concerned here only with “conjunctival pterygium,” which affects the eyes. “Conjunctival pterygium” refers to a wing-like membrane that begins growing near the “conjunctiva” (the corner of the eye near the nose) and gradually works its way towards the cornea (the eye’s clear portion), covering more and more of the eyeball as it progresses. Once the membrane reaches the cornea, vision can be impaired. Although the condition is considered “benign” (not a threat to life or health), it can cause extreme eye discomfort including itching, burning, redness and other symptoms (see box). It is also very unsightly. While discomfort can be relieved, and the progress of a pterygium growth can be arrested, pterygium cannot be reversed except through surgery.

Pterygium is believed to be caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, intensified by reflection off the water (snow skiers are also susceptible but usually wear sunglasses or goggles). The UV exposure is made worse by simultaneous exposure to a number of factors that affect the eye’s all-important “tear film” and could impair its protective ability. Wind, solar radiation and numerous bacteria and microorganisms found in sea water are all known to cause the tear film to lose moisture, creating a condition called “dry eye syndrome” (whose symptoms are identical to the discomfort symptoms associated with pterygium). When the tear film loses moisture, tear salt becomes over-concentrated and starts to act as an irritant. Frequent exposure to salt water could heighten this effect.

Here is the point: The same steps that prevent or alleviate dry eye and eye discomfort will also prevent Pterygium. Continue reading

Wipe Out Surfer’s Eye

18 Feb

Pterygium” is to the sport of wave surfing as tennis elbow is to tennis. If you surf, you are at risk. If you are a surfer who experiences frequent eye discomfort (as most do), and who uses no eye protection, you are at extreme risk. While pterygium is curable only by surgery, it is easily preventable and arrested.

Conjunctival pterygium” refers to a wing-like membrane that begins growing near the “conjunctiva” (the corner of the eye near the nose) and gradually works its way towards the cornea (the eye’s clear portion). Once the membrane reaches the cornea, vision can be impaired. Although not life or health threatening, the condition can cause extreme eye discomfort and is very unsightly.

Pterygium is believed caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, intensified by reflection off the water. UV exposure is worsened by simultaneous exposure to wind, perspiration and salt water, all of which can cause the eye’s protective “tear film” to lose moisture. This leads to a condition called “dry eye syndrome.”

The same measures that prevent or alleviate dry eye will also prevent or arrest pterygium. If you are a surfer, you should pay extra attention to tear film health, not only when surfing but always.