2015-11-13

The “dry eye” A genuine handicap in sport shooting

About the causes and treating the symptoms with liposomal eye spray

Dryness is one of the most frequent problems we experience with our eyes. It can manifest itself in a range of different symptoms: A feeling of dryness or that there is something in the eye, redness, a burning sensation, itchiness, scratching, streaming eyes, pressure, tired eyes, light sensitivity, eyelids that are stuck together in the morning and swelling or inflammation at the edges of the eyelids.

Symptoms like these are particularly problematic for shooters, as they have a major impact on visual acuity and therefore on concentration, too.

 

So what causes dry eyes?

  • Screen work (“office eye syndrome”)
  • Environmental influences
  • Low humidity (e.g. because of air conditioning in the office, car or airplane)
  • Hormonal fluctuations or deficiencies (e.g. during the menopause)
  • Inflammation of the eyelids
  • General illnesses
  • Certain medications

(e.g. psychiatric medication, sleeping pills, betablockers, hormones, antihistamines)

In addition to the typical causes, the way we use our eyes is also a key contributing factor to dry eyes. For example, people who work intensively with computers blink a lot less often. What’s more, they do not blink fully and, because their eyelids rarely close completely, only a limited portion of the eye is moistened.

 

So what exactly makes our eyes “dry”?

The term “dry eyes” refers to a deficiency in the tear film. To get a better understanding of this deficiency and its background, we need to know how the tear film is made up and what the various parts of it do.

The tear film fulfils a wide range of tasks such as:

  • Moistening the eye
  • Supplying the cornea with oxygen and nutrients
  • Protecting the eye from infection by supplying germ-fighting substances
  • Removing foreign bodies such as dust

lipdidschicht_engThe eyelids ensure that the front of the eyeball is kept moist with tear fluid at all times. This thin layer of tear fluid is referred to as the tear film and has the following functions:

  • Providing moisture to ensure the eye doesn’t dry out and that the cornea stays transparent
  • Removing foreign bodies
  • Boosting the immune system

 

 

 

The tear film can be divided into three layers:

der_traenenfilm_en

  • The innermost layer is the mucin layer. The surface at the front of the eye is actually water repellent, so the function of the mucin layer is to ensure the aqueous part of the tear film stays on the eye. In other words, it forms a kind of link between the water-repellent surface and the tear film. It also has antibacterial properties.
  • The central part of the tear film is the water layer, which contains dissolved substances that form part of our immune defences.
  • The outermost layer is the lipid layer. This is like a film of oil that floats on the water layer to form the surface of the tear film. The lipid layer stops the tear fluid from evaporating too quickly.

 

According to a study by Heiligenhaus et al. (1995) the causes of “dry eyes” are that the tear film does not adhere properly, that too little fluid is produced or that the fluid that is produced evaporates too quickly.

 

 

So how can we treat these symptoms of “dry eyes”?

augeThe best way to keep your tear film healthy is to have a healthy body. A balanced diet, ideal environmental conditions and varied visual stimuli play a big part in stabilising this complex fluid. In practice, however, it isn’t always possible to meet all these conditions. Having to take certain medicines, not getting all the right nutrients in your diet, hormonal imbalances and repetitive visual activities

(such as long periods of computer work, aiming for long periods and wind at the range) can all contribute to “dry eyes”. In cases like these, it can often make sense to get “outside” help, which can take the form of various drops, ointments, gels and sprays. The understanding that – in 78 percent of cases – the cause of dry eyes is an inhomogeneous, unstable lipid layer is a good reason to opt for liposomal eye sprays.

 

 

Sprayed onto closed eyelids, these products combine numerous advantages:

  • They work quickly to create a homogeneous lipid layer on the eye.
  • They don’t alter the actual quantity of tear film on the eye, which would otherwise cause the fluid to evaporate off again quickly.
  • They are extremely easy to use.
  • They help to stabilise conditions and form a functional tear film.
  • They also slightly improve visual acuity (Dausch et al., 2006).

koerpereigene_lipide_en

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People often ask: “How does spraying it onto your eyes when they’re closed help?”

The answer is quite simple: The Meibomian glands are located on the edges of our eyelids and produce the lipids that make up the lipid layer of the tear film, which stops the tear film evaporating too quickly.

Using a spray to regularly apply high-quality lipids externally to the edges of the eyelids can have a lasting stabilising effect on the tear film. This simple product has a huge advantage for sport shooters in particular.

Each time you close your eyes, the liposomes are distributed over the eye via the lids. This smooths and stabilises the tear film.

It does not cause your vision to go cloudy or blurry, as is the case when applying a wetting gel.

When applying a liposomal eye spray, your eyesight is immediately clear, which means it can be used shortly before a series.

stabilisierte_lipidschicht_en

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

In the most frequent cases, the symptoms of “dry eyes” can be linked to excessive evaporation of the tear film. Using conventional water-based wetting agents provides spontaneous relief, but cannot stabilise the tear film on a lasting basis. In clinical studies, state-of-the-art liposomal eye sprays have demonstrated significant improvements in the stability of the tear film, they are easy to apply and they have no detrimental effects on visual acuity.

That is precisely why these products are an excellent part of the routine preparations before a training session or competition.

 

 

 

 

 

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