Exercise May Cause Dry Eye Complaints and Impact Eye Health

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Tips for Maintaining Eye Hydration During Exercise from Bio Logic Aqua Research Founder Sharon Kleyne

Regular moderate exercise is one of the best things a person can do for their health, reports water and health researcher Sharon Kleyne. However, Kleyne cautions, exercise may cause the eyes’ all-important basal tear film to lose water content. The resulting dry eye complaints can be detrimental to eye health. Kleyne has discovered that a few simple precautions will minimize the negative effects of exercise on the eyes and maximize the positive benefits.

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

There are many beneficial results of exercise, Kleyne notes, including benefits to the eyes. Exercise improves circulation, muscles become stronger after an initial breakdown, the organs and digestive system become more efficient, the tear and lipid glands around the eyes function better and the transfer of moisture from the atmosphere to skin and eyes improves – all because of a daily 20 to 30 minute workout.

The bad news, according to Kleyne, is that the body tends to lose water during exercise. Dehydration of the body can, among other things, result in decreased basal tear production, creating a condition called “dry eye.”

In addition, says Kleyne, a large portion of the water lost during exercise may be in the form of perspiration, which is a self-cooling reflex. The problem with perspiration, when it drips into the eyes, is the extremely high salt or “electrolyte” content. Although tears naturally contain some salt, Kleyne notes, perspiration contains far more salt.

According to Kleyne, salt/electrolyte is a desiccant that pulls water out of whatever it touches. This desiccant effect occurs when perspiration enters the eyes. A too high salt content in the eyes’ tear film will increase the rate of evaporation of water into the atmosphere, further concentrating the salt. The resulting salt over-concentration can cause irritation, stinging and burning. An absorbent headband will help minimize the amount of perspiration entering the eyes.

Perspiration contains salt because salt causes the water in the perspiration to evaporate more rapidly on the surface of the skin, thus enhancing the cooling effect. The works until the body begins to run out of salt/electrolyte.

The key to eye comfort during exercise, Kleyne explains, is the salt-to-water ratio. When eyes become irritated as a result of the extra salt from perspiration, the easiest way to counteract this, according to Kleyne, is to simply increase the volume of water in the eyes.

According to Kleyne, the application of supplemental eye moisture, with a 100% water product such as Nature’s Tears® EyeMist® from Kleyne’s Bio Logic Aqua Research, is extremely beneficial to dehydrated eyes where the basal tear film contains too much salt. A two-second mist sweep around the eyes instantly dilutes the salt and balances the tear film’s salt-to-water ratio. Kleyne recommends applying the mist before exercising, after exercising, and any time during exercise that the eyes begin to feel uncomfortable. The all-water mist is completely safe and may be applied as often as desired.    

To avoid dehydration of the body, Kleyne recommends drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of pure water each day and increasing this to 10 glasses on exercise days. The water is in addition to all other fluid intake. Kleyne also recommends following up workout sessions by drinking 8-ounces of a commercial anti-dehydration water, such as Gatorade, which contains small amounts of both sugar and salt, to help replace body salt and other minerals lost to perspiration.

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Mikaylah Roggasch
Bio Logic Aqua Research-Rogue Media
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