We cry for all kinds of reasons: a stubbed toe,
a particularly poignant scene in a movie, freshly cut onions the list goes on.
Would it surprise you to learn that, chemically, not all tears are the same? Or
how about that even though we usually do it when we’re upset, crying is in fact
good for us?
Tears and Basic Eye Protection
Even when we aren’t crying, our
eyes are covered in a
protective film of basal tears, which is composed of three
layers: the mucous layer right up against the cornea, the
middle aqueous layer that is mostly saltwater, and the outer lipid layer that
seals everything in and reduces evaporation.
This tear film is
essentially an all-in-one lubrication, cleaning, and disinfecting system for
the surface of our eyes. It washes dust, debris and other particles out of our
eyes with every blink and keeps our eyes comfortable and vision clear.
Our lacrimal glands in our
eyelids are constantly producing small amounts of basal tears to replenish the
tear film. The reason our eyes don’t leak with used basal tears all day is that
what doesn’t evaporate drains out through the lacrimal ducts on the inner
corners of our eyes and down into our noses. That’s why our noses get runny
when we cry!
Having A Good Cry
Basal tears are present all the
time in healthy eyes, but when we cry and the tears overflow, they come in two
different types: reflex
and emotional tears. Even though crying can be embarrassing and
messy at times, both
types of tears are actually good for us.
Reflex tears are essentially
the same as basal tears, but when our eyes get irritated, basal tear production
goes into overdrive to safely flush out whatever caused the problem. That’s why
we tear up when we’re chopping onions or get something in our eyes.
Most of us know what it’s like
to cry and come out the other side of it feeling somehow refreshed and more
optimistic about life, even when nothing about the situation that made us cry
has changed. That’s because emotional tears actually clear out chemicals that
build up in times of stress. Crying doesn’t just
release pent-up emotion, it also purges
harmful chemicals and triggers pain-regulating hormones! No
wonder we feel better afterward!
Let’s Keep the Tears Flowing
Basal tears are essential for
the health of our eyes, which is why dry eye can be such a serious issue. As we
age, basal tear production goes down and dry
eye becomes a more common problem. Dry eye can cause
significant discomfort, blurred vision, and even vision loss. Make an
appointment to see Michael if you’re noticing any discomfort, or have any
Have you heard that eating carrots will give you great night vision?
That’s actually a leftover idea from World War 2. The British didn’t want enemy soldiers to learn about their new radar technology, so they claimed their airmen got their night vision by eating carrots! Whether or not the Germans fell for it, the idea stuck around. So, is there any truth to it? Maybe not to the part about superior night vision, but carrots and other foods like the ones below do contain nutrients that help our eyes stay healthy!
Sweet Potatoes and Oranges
Two important antioxidants that help us stay healthy are vitamins C and E. Vitamin C can lower our risk of developing cataracts and may even slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration. The easiest way to get vitamin C is by eating plenty of citrus fruit, such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. Vitamin E protects our eyes from “free radicals,” molecules that disrupt healthy tissue, and you can get it by eating sweet potatoes and nuts!
Fish are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for brain function and a healthy immune system, but it helps to protect against cataracts, dry eye syndrome and even macular degeneration. One study found that people who ate just one weekly serving of fish, generally a good source of omega-3 fats, cut their risk of macular degeneration by over 30 percent!
Eggs and Leafy Greens
Studies have shown that the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin are linked to a lowered risk of chronic eye diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, and the foods that have the most of these are eggs and leafy greens!
Carrots, along with other yellow, orange, or leafy green fruits and veggies, is an excellent source of vitamin A. These types of produce get their colour from beta-carotene. Our intestines use beta-carotene to make vitamin A, which helps our eyes convert light into brainwaves and is an important component of our corneas (the clear part of the front of our eyes). Vitamin A deficiency leaves up to half a million children blind each year!
Oysters are a great source of zinc. Why do we need zinc? It’s essential to many processes in our bodies, including helping vitamin A get from our livers to our retinas. It doesn’t matter how much vitamin A we eat if it can’t get to where it needs to go! If you’re not a fan of oysters, you can get your zinc in smaller doses from meats, beans, and nuts.
Another Component of Eye Health Is Eye Exams!
Your eyes are sure to benefit when you add more of these nutritious foods to your diet, but even the healthiest food isn’t a substitute for a regular eye examination! Poor nutrition isn’t the only thing that can cause eye problems, which is why it’s crucial to schedule appointment with Dr Michael Jackson at Main Beach Optical, especially if you’ve noticed any changes in your vision.
Main Beach Optical are pleased to stock exclusive Von Arkel frames.
Von Arkel frames have their origins in a two hundred year old Swiss watchmaking tradition. Blending centuries of craftsmanship with modern technology. Von Arkel frames are characterised by their precision, technicality and elegant styling.
The frames are made using fusion of tempered steel and polishing techniques with metallic components coloured via a high tech process to achieve deep and distinctive colour saturation.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of a Von Arkel frame is their highly crafted hinge. The patented hinge design was created and refined over a two year period to ensure strength coupled with freedom of movement and has no screws, glue or rivets.
Classically beautiful, unfussy and delicately balanced, these superior frames are some of the very best on the market. Each frame is lightweight yet sturdy, and resistant to scratches and marks. Frame finishes include stainless steel, acetate and titanium.
Hay fever is the most common form of allergy which affects two in five Australians throughout the Spring and Summer seasons. Mainly affecting the eyes and nose, typical symptoms include sneezing, itchy ears, nose, eyes and throat, a runny or stuffy nose and red, watery eyes.
How symptoms can be relieved
- Try to identify what triggers your hay fever and avoid these as much as possible
- Keep windows closed during the pollen season
- Splash eyes with cold water at regular intervals to flush out pollen
- Make use of air conditioning and/or air filtering systems in your house and car
- Anti-histamine medications help control sneezing and itching and assist in soothing the eyes from irritation
- Eye-drops relieve itchy, swollen or watery eyes
- Nasal sprays help reduce the inflammation in the nose which is the cause of nasal blockage and other symptoms.
Hay fever and contact lenses
If you suffer from hay fever and are a contact lens wearer, you may not be very comfortable wearing them during hay fever season. Useful tips include:
- Avoid wearing contact lenses when outside conditions are hot, dry and dusty during hay fever season, or when mowing the lawn
- Wearing sunglasses in addition to contact lenses may help protect your eyes from dust and pollen circulating in the air
- When the pollen count is very high, switch to wearing glasses rather than contact lenses to avoid irritation
- Consider using daily contact lenses; replacing them daily reduces the chance of protein build up that can lead to sore, irritated eyes
Although hay fever can have a large effect on your day to day life, there is relief available. Taking simple precautions and utilising products available on the market to assist with hay fever symptoms can help limit your discomfort and help you enjoy the most out of every day.
If you love the clean and classy ‘Scandi’ look, then you are going to love our collection of beautiful Danish designed Lindberg frames.
Lindberg designs have won dozens of prestigious design awards, and are characterised by their classical lines and carefully considered simplicity.
Using patented technologies, each frame is individually crafted for visual impact and strength, using materials including titanium, acetate, gold, platinum, diamonds, as well as eye catching natural animal horn.
Lindberg frames are engineered rather than made, and have done away with the use of screws, rivets and welds, which makes their frames stronger, more flexible and less prone to breakage. Their frames are ultra-lightweight, ensuring comfort for the wearer.
All of our Lindberg frames are made to order direct from Denmark, hand-finished and individually numbered. We usually engrave your phone number on the side of the temple so that they can be returned to you if they get lost. They are truly the Rolls Royce of eyewear today.
Dry Eye Syndrome can now be a thing of the past for Gold Coast residents with the arrival of a breakthrough IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment at Main Beach Optical.
“IPL is revolutionising how we manage dry eye syndrome, and is the treatment that eye specialists and sufferers of Dry Eye Syndrome have been waiting for,” said Optometrist, Dr Michael Jackson.
“More than 20 per cent of the Australian population will experience Dry Eye Syndrome. The Syndrome manifests as dry, sore and itchy red eyes, with associated poor quality of life and eye function,” he said.
“Up until now, treatments for Dry Eye have been restricted to ongoing use of over the counter and prescription eye drops. Unfortunately these only provide transient relief. About two years ago we started using Manuka honey eye drops, which has been useful in alleviating dry eye symptoms. However, IPL is allowing us to take treatment to a whole new level.”
“IPL technology uses perfectly calibrated, intense light pulses which stimulate glands within the eye to return to normal function. With just three treatments of three minutes duration, and then periodic top-ups, we now have the opportunity to really nail this debilitating condition,” he said.
This technology is non-invasive, pain free, and has no negative side effects. Patients often report an improvement within hours of their first treatment.
Dry Eye Syndrome is primarily caused by a dysfunction of the Meibomian gland. There are more than 80 Meibomian glands located in the upper and lower eye lids. These glands produce oil which helps to prevent tear evaporation. People with Dry Eye have an oil layer within their tears that is unstable and thinner than normal. Often it is attributed to increasing age and more commonly affects females than males. In addition to hormonal causes, it can be triggered by windy, dusty dry weather as well as the effects of modern living, with computer screens, driving, artificial light, air conditioning, pollution and contact lenses all recognised contributors to the condition.