Lacrimal system3 1024x768 - Exercise your tear film
Fluoroscein testing determines the tear film quality

Did you know that exercise could be good for your tear film?

If you are aware of so called dry eye symptoms, and require or use artificial tears, read on.

Or you can find “an optometrist near me” and have the problem looked at.

This is a recent article produced from Insight, the Australian newspaper for the optical industry.

It quotes a recent study published in Experimental Eye Research, from researchers from the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada. Fifty two participants were divided into two groups – athlete and non-athlete – to participate in an exercise session. Here is the link

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0014483521004310?via%3Dihub

Participants in the athlete group exercised at least five times per week, while non-athlete participants exercised no more than once per week. Visual examinations before and five minutes after each exercise session, measured tear secretion and tear break-up time. These are important predictors of tear film quality, which , if poor, can cause the eyes to feel gritty or dry, or simply cause an awareness of the eyes where we should be able to take them for granted.

All participants in both groups, experienced a meaningful boost in tear quantity and tear film stability after the exercise session.

These results show physical activity can be really important for not just our overall well-being, but for our eye health too.

The researchers stated that a healthy tear film comprises three layers; oil, water, and mucin, which work together to hydrate the ocular surface and protect against infection-causing irritants like dust or dirt.

When any part of the tear film becomes unstable, the ocular surface can develop dry spots, causing eye symptoms like itchiness or stinging and burning sensations.

With so much of our activity tied to screen usage, dry eye symptoms are becoming increasingly common.

Instead of having to use eye drops or other alternative treatments, this study aimed to determine if remaining physically active can be an effective preventative measure against dryness.

The study,  Differential effect of maximal incremental treadmill exercise on tear secretion and tear film stability in athletes and non-athletes, was co-authored by Otchere, along with optometrists from the University of Cape Coast Mr Samuel Abokyi, Mr Sekyere Nyamaah, and Mr Michael Ntodie, and Ghana’s Our Lady of Grace Hospital’s optometrist Mr Yaw Osei Akoto.

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