The human body consists about 60 per cent of water. The percentage had been even higher when we were born. Water is of utmost importance to us, as it is the source of life. It is also the source of our health, especially that of our eyes.
Water is an important element of our eyes. They are not only made out of water, but their surface depends on moisture. The cornea, the frontal part of the eye, is coated with a layer of moist which we call the tear film. This moisture is produced by the tear gland. It consists of a lot more molecules than just H2O; it consists among others lipids, mucus, electrolytes and enzymes. This means that the eye moisture does not only depend on the amount of tear moist, but also on a correct mix of components.
Good and bad influences
Much of our modern lifestyle can influence our eyes' moisture. Caffeine, alcohol, salt, certain medication and even stress can have a dehydrating influence on our body and tear function. These things drain moisture from our body, and naturally influences the layer of moisture on our eyes. Working on the computer is one of the main causes of dry eyes in western countries. Regardless of what has been otherwise assumed, a computer screen itself has no negative influence on the eyes. Computer screens only transmit light - not harmful radiation - to the eyes. The fact is, when we are working on a computer, our eye blink frequency decreases immensely. Because of this, the tear film evaporates more often than normal. Our eyes become rather dry. And all too often, the computer is an office or in a room where the air-conditioning causes dry air. This adds to the eye's dehydration.
What you can do
It is very important to stay hydrated. A big part of our population is dehydrated because our hectic western lifestyle causes us to forget to drink often. This not only results in headaches and other physical discomforts, but also in dry eyes. To have healthy eyes, you need to drink water often enough. The tear gland can hardly produce a good tear film if the body itself doesn't contain enough moisture.
Having a healthy lifestyle is also of utmost important. Smoking decreases the quality of the tear film. Taking walk in nature is not only healthy for your mind and body, but will improve the moisture in your eyes. Try to escape regularly from the manipulated, dry air caused by air-conditioning, which is the case in many buildings. You could also moisturize your eyes with eye drops. These so-called artificial teardrops contains moisture as well as substances that supports other components of the tear film. It replenishes the water and the electrolytes. The best artificial tears sold contain no preservatives and can usually be obtained without prescription.
Dry eyes after eye laser surgery
Every eye laser treatment can influence the tear film and the moisture of the eye. This is because eye laser surgery is applied on the frontal part of the cornea. The surgery which causes dry eyes most is LASIK. This surgery cuts the nerves on frontal part of the eye when a flap is made. This causes dry eyes which can last a few months or longer. Still, these nerve fibres have the capacity to gradually recuperate.
ReLEx smile is the eye laser treatment which impacts the eye's moisture the least. Complaints of dry eyes after this treatment are temporary and less intense compared to LASIK. Lubricating eye drops are used during four to six weeks after a ReLEx smile treatment to treat it. In comparison, LASIK requires three to six months.
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