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Dry Eye Linked to Dehydration and Stress Reports Water and Eye Researcher

Grants Pass, OR (PRWEB) December 23, 2013

Putting a wet, warm compress on the eyes is relaxing to most people. The reason, according to water and eye researcher Sharon Kleyne, goes well beyond the relaxation of lying down and closing one’s eyes. According to Kleyne, there is a definite link between stress, dry eye and dehydration. Dry eye is a common stress reaction and conversely, stress is a common dry eye reaction. In other words, the warm, wet compress is calming partly because it increases the water volume in the eye’s tear film.

Sharon Kleyne hosts the globally syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water® radio show on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes. Kleyne also Founded Bio-Logic Aqua Research, a fresh water and health research, education and product development center. The Research Center’s global signature product, Nature’s Tears® EyeMist® provides a personal portable humidifying mist that prevents eye dehydration and reduces stress by instantly supplementing lost tear film water.

According to Kleyne, when external factors cause stress or anxiety, adrenalin is released and certain peripheral body functions slow down. That’s why one might experience dry mouth prior to going onstage. Production by the tear glands also slows down.

Conversely, increased feelings of stress, anxiety, lethargy and sleepiness are common symptoms of dry eye, which is the dehydration or water volume depletion of eye’s basal tear film. The tear film is 98% water and the loss of only 2% of that volume can trigger symptoms. Other dry eye symptoms include blurred vision, itching and burning eyes, eye fatigue and headaches.

“What affects the brain usually affects the eyes,” says Kleyne, “And what affects the eyes usually affects the brain.” The brain and eyes, Kleyne explains, are both considered part of the central nervous system and both develop from an embryonic tissue called the “ectoderm.” Of the 12 cranial nerves, only three, including the optic nerve, are connected directly to the brain. In fact, four of the 12 cranial nerves involve the eye. Tear production is controlled by the facial nerve

Keep the eyes, brain and body well hydrated, according to Kleyne, can be very helpful in controlling stress. If one is already dehydrated when confronting a stressful situation, the stress reaction will be amplified.

In addition, Kleyne explains, since the ocular tear film derives a percentage of its water content directly from the humidity in the air, and since low atmospheric humidity can trigger increased evaporation of water out of the tear film, it follows that dry air and low humidity can be a cause of stress. Indeed, sitting in the shade and feeling the mist of a nearby waterfall is far more relaxing to most people than hiking across a desert in bright sunlight.
Air pollution can also cause stress, according to Kleyne. Particulate matter in the atmosphere from air pollution tends to attract and accumulate water vapor molecules. This dries out the air and prevents water vapor from reaching the cloud level and returning as rainfall. The result: increased vulnerability to dry eye and stress.

The best way to keep eyes and body hydrated is to drink sufficient water each day. Kleyne recommends at least eight glasses, in addition to other fluid intake. She also recommends eating a nutritious diet, getting seven to eight hours sleep a night and avoiding high risk situations for dry eye such as low room humidity and fluorescent lighting.

To maintain tear film moisture, Kleyne also recommends the daily use of Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®. When specific dry eye symptoms occur, such as burning or itching eyes, blurred vision or feelings of stress, she suggests increasing the number of daily applications. The pure water mist is 100% safe and may be applied as often as desired.    

Board Science Series, Neuroanatony, Fourth Edition, Lippincott, Wiliams and Wilkins, 2008.
“Definition of dehydration,”        
DeKloet, et al, “Stress and the brain from adaptation to disease,” Nature Review: Neuroscience, June, 2005

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