Tear Layers of the Human Eye & Dry Eye Disease often Misunderstood Says Kleyne. Proactive Global Eye Care Education Needed To Protect Vision Says Sharon Kleyne.
Sharon Kleyne is the research director and co-founder of Bio-Logic Aqua® Research Water Life Science® in Grants Pass, Oregon. One of the most respected body water evaporation and new water research experts in the world, Kleyne has devoted more than two decades to calling for a serious global commitment to new water research and new water technology. “We need this commitment,” Kleyne says, “to fight illness, preserve vision and prevent blindness.”
Kleyne, also a leading educator in the field, teaches that tears are much more than salty excretions. Tears are functional, Kleyne points out. Tears supply the eyes with nutrients and oxygen. Tears clear out unwanted debris and assist in focusing images and providing essential lubrication. “The eye’s tear film is naturally 99 percent water,” says Kleyne; “when the tear film loses just two percent of its water content, a variety of dry eye disease symptoms occur.”
Kleyne calls for a comprehensive, nationwide education effort, especially in grammar schools, middle schools and high schools, to teach the truth about tears, body water and earth’s atmospheric evaporation, dry eye and a dry eye solution®. “Tear evaporation and unchecked dry eye disease,” Kleyne cautions, “often lead to infection, ulceration and scarring. In more extreme cases, perforation of the cornea (the clear outer layer of the eye protecting the iris), pupil and anterior chamber can occur. In the worst case scenario, blindness is the result.”
Kleyne knows that her proposed course of study would create an understanding of tears and their complicated make-up. It is now known that tears have an outer layer that is created by the meibomian or tarsal glands at the rim of the eyelids. Tears include a middle layer that is watery and is found in the lachrymal gland in the upper outer corner of the eye. An inner protein-rich third layer of mucin originating from the goblet cells of the conjunctiva that lines eyelids and covers the whites of the eyes serves a lubricating process. When one or more of these layers over-evaporates, Kleyne points out, dry eye can and usually does occur.
When all three layers are properly supplemented with fresh water, Kleyne points out, the fatty layer prevents the tears from evaporating too quickly and helps them cling to the surface of the eye. The watery layer moistens the eye, nourishes the cornea and carries away toxins and foreign bodies. The mucin layer stifles microbial growth and also serves to bind water.
Dry eye disease can have many causes including allergies, eye defects, chronic blepharitis (an inflammation of the eyelids), environmental conditions such as smoke, wind and pollution, hormonal imbalance (menopause, for example), contact lenses, vitamin deficiency or an underlying systemic disease like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Even the extended use medications (diuretics, antihistamines, anti-depressants and cholesterol-lowering drugs, among others) and nerve damage to nerves as a result of LASIK eye surgery can lead to dry eye.
Kleyne notes that relief for dry eye is sought through several methods. These include a topical application of the immunosuppressant cyclosporin A, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory derivatives of tetracycline (like doxycycline), an antibiotic, and high doses of essential fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in fish oil and flaxseed oil, used topically and orally) that inhibit inflammation and are now being tested in a major study funded by the National Eye Institute. Specialty eye drops can also be created by using the patient’s own blood serum diluted with saline. Finally, Kleyne’s own new water technology breakthrough, Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®, supplements and replenishes moisture lost to over-evaporation with pure tissue culture grade water applied to the eye as a patented, micron-size mist from a portable, personal hand-held humidifier.
Kleyne, also the host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health sponsored by Nature’s Tears® EyeMist® on VoiceAmerica, believes that improved proactive education programs will lead to a better understanding of the eye’s architecture. At the same time, research will discover better methods for supplementing over-evaporated dry eyes.