Dry eyes and aging have a very strong connection for one simple reason; once we pass the age of 65 the majority of us will get it in some form.
This condition is estimated to affect about 20% of all Americans, and about 23% of all people worldwide.
However, as we hit the 65 year or older mark, it is estimated that it will affect about 3 out of every 4 of us, and this is even higher in women.
I am fortunate that I had never experienced it, but my wife has and she finally found some very effective ways to treat it.
Dry eyes and aging has other connections including our heart, as well as the actual way we are producing tears.
As we get older our heart is not pumping blood in the same volumes that it used to, and this can and often does affect our smallest blood vessels.
Our eyes have several of these small blood vessels, and as a result, they are not only receiving less blood, they are also receiving fewer nutrients.
However, they are also not making nearly as many tears as they used to.
The tears in our eyes help to preform several functions including some of the following.
As our circulation begins to slow and our tear production decreases, it can and does affect us as we age.
It is also helpful in understanding this connection what are tears are and what makes them.
Our tears are made up of the following ingredients:
The water in our tears has one major function; to keep our eyes moist and hydrated.
However, this is more of a saline solution than it is water.
It also contains several key nutrients that our critical to our vision cells operating properly and the top levels of our eye cells rely on this solution to do their jobs.
The mucus portion of our tears helps now only helps to coat our eyes; it also builds a protective layer.
Without this protective layer, dry spots will form on our cornea, one of the biggest causes of dry eyes and aging.
The oil portion of our tears does several protective things such as helping to build film covering and protect us, and it also helps to slow the evaporation of our tears.
If we are not producing enough of this oil, they will and do evaporate before they are formed.
However, perhaps the most important component of our tears is “lysozymes”
These are the natural antibodies that keep our vision healthy by fighting any type of invaders such as bacterium and viruses.
Our cornea relies on lysozymes to bring it nutrients for one simple reason; it has no blood vessels.
Dry eyes and aging has some very straightforward symptoms that begin to surface as the result of decreased tear production.
They include the following.
However, there is something else unique with this condition; it can also cause too many tears.
Although this sounds almost oxymoronic in nature, what is happening is referred to as “reflex tearing”.
When our eyes lack the proper hydration, they send an emergency message our nervous system.
Once this signal is received, it reacts very quickly and literally sends an avalanche of tears to help offset the dryness.
There are several things that can trigger this condition and here are the most common ones.
Aging is by far and away the most common cause, but if you are woman, you now have two strikes because of menopause.
This loss of blood throughout the years not only dries your blood supply, it also has an effect on your tear production.
There are several medications that can also cause our tears to become challenged, and this list is quite extensive.
It includes antihistamines, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and most pain medications.
Caffeine causes constriction in our blood vessels, and this can easily slow our circulation, but it also dehydrates our body.
Diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease can also have an effect.
Dry eyes and aging can be challenging to treat and the most common form of treatment is artificial tears.
However, my wife did not have a lot of luck with most of these products, so she did the following.
She drinks at least 8-10 glasses of water daily to hydrate her body and help to keep her tears lubricated.
She found that by exercising at least 30 minutes every day, this also helped the production as it helped her blood flow.
She swears by Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for several reasons, and this is one of them. As soon as she started taking these nutrients, most of the problems went away.
However, what really helped her was TheraLife, a newer eye lubricant. It contains several herbal blends and she tried everything,
Nothing works for her quite like this, and if you have this condition maybe these steps can help you.
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