Driver’s Dry Eye Can Cause Distracted Driving Reports Eye and Water Researcher

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Tips from Bio Logic Aqua Research Founder Sharon Kleyne to reduce eye discomfort and fatigue for safer driving.

“Driver’s dry eye” is surprisingly common among both non-professional and professional drivers, and it can be deadly. After driving for hours or days, with the air-conditioner or heater blasting, eyes may begin to itch and burn and eventually, eyelids can feel so heavy that the driver is forced to pull off the road. According to eye and water researcher Sharon Kleyne, the cause may not be lack of sleep but “driver’s dry eye.” This may be an even greater source of distracted driving accidents than cell phone use because it can make people fall asleep at the wheel even if they aren’t tired.    

Sharon Kleyne is Founder of Bio Logic Aqua Research, a research, education, technology and product development company specializing in fresh water, atmospheric water vapor and skin and eye dehydration. Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®, the Research Center’s global signature product, provide a mist of 100% fresh water that instantly supplements eye and skin surface moisture depleted as a result of vehicular heating and cooling devices. Kleyne also hosts the globally syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water® radio show on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes.

According to Kleyne, there are several precautions, in addition to coffee and eye drops, that drivers can take to avoid distracted driving from driver’s dry eye and to prevent or relieve tired, strained, or irritated eyes on a long trip.

Much of the eye discomfort, Kleyne explains, comes from dehydration or drying out of the eyes, eyelids and facial skin. Alleviate the dehydration and the discomfort should quickly vanish, including fatigue.

Several factors while driving can increase the rate of water evaporation from eyes, eyelids and face into the atmosphere. A major culprit is forced-air heating and cooling, which causes the water in the tear film evaporates at a too-rapid rate. The loss of less than 2% of the tear film’s normal water content can cause an inflammatory reaction in the eyes, and an over-concentration of salt or electrolyte in the tear film. The result is discomfort and fatigue. Eyes are especially vulnerable to dehydration because the basal tear film covering the eyes is 98% water

To relieve driver’s dry eye, according to Kleyne, simply replace the tear film’s missing water. Kleyne offers several suggestions for avoiding drivers dry eye and the resulting distracted driving. Above all, do not smoke while driving. In addition to damaging the lungs and heart, cigarette smoke is irritating and dehydrating to eyes, even with a window opened.

Kleyne main recommendation is to use air conditioner and heating as little as possible, setting the climate control so that air is not recirculated, and not blowing the air directly into the face. Another Kleyne suggestion is to drink sufficient water to keep eyes, skin and body hydrated. Luke-warm water is less likely to result in rest stops than cold water. Kleyne recommends at least eight glasses a day, in addition to other fluids. Caffeine and carbonated beverages are both dehydrating. Kleyne advises driving with a window slightly opened to let in fresh, more humid air.

Eating easily digested foods high in water content is also important, as is sleep and bathing. Sleep restores the tear film while bathing hydrates the eyes and skin.

Pulling off the road and closing your eyes for a few minutes, says Kleyne, may be extremely beneficial in avoiding distracted driving and restoring the tear film’s full moisture content. Sunglasses help reduce road glare, which can also dehydrate the eyes.

Kleyne’s final suggestion is to keep Nature’s Tears® EyeMist® in the glove compartment to instantly replace lost eye moisture without having to stop the vehicle. Kleyne suggests. The pure water mist is 100% safe and may be applied as often as desired.

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Mikaylah Roggasch
Bio Logic Aqua Research-Rogue Media
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