Eye care is particularly important for golfers, who are exposed not just to glare and UV light but also to dust, pollen and wind – all of which can irritate the eyes. Many golfers suffer from watery eyes and are unaware that it may be a symptom of dry eye, which can also cause a scratchy, gritty or smarting feeling and can be easily relieved with eye drops.
“Your eyes are constantly bathed in tears which are produced to lubricate the eye. The tear film has three distinct layers, which aim to capture water and increase dwell time on the eye. The layers can be disrupted by medication, aging and environmental conditions and this causes dry patches to form on the surface of the eye.”
A few drops of preservative free artificial tears such as Clinitas Soothe can add moisture to the eye and protect against the discomfort of dry eye symptoms. Using a resealable eye dropper means that you can slip into a pocket and reapply when necessary significantly increasing the benefit.
Dry eye can also be caused by anti-histamines.
“Ironically treatments for hay fever can also cause dry eye discomfort,” continues Gareth. “Medications that block histamine receptors to reduce allergic conditions have a drying effect, reducing mucus and aqueous production within the tear film.
“We would recommend that golfers consider wearing sun glasses to protect the eye from UV, dust and pollen and again to use the eye drops as a precaution when taking anti-histamines and other prescription drugs such as pain killers and decongestants.”
Tears are produced in the small gland located above and outside each eye and in the small cells found in the membrane that covers the eyeball. When you blink, tears are spread over the front of your eyes.
The tears drain away through tiny channels known as canaliculi, which are found on the inside of your eyes. The tears drain into a tear “sac” before flowing down a tube and into your nose.
Persistent watery eyes might be due to conjunctivitis or a blocked tear duct and it is advised to seek medical advice. However, occasionally watery eyes in windy conditions can be another symptom of dry eye.
“The drying effect of wind can cause the eye to make more tears, normally this isn’t a problem but if you have an underlying dry eye condition then your eyes will over compensate causing them to stream. Wrap around sun glasses will protect the eye from the wind and again eye drops will help increase the effectiveness of the tear layer at keeping the eye moist, “ explains Gareth.
You can get watering eyes at any age but it is most common in people over the age of 60. It can affect one or both eyes and can cause blurred vision, sore eyelid skin and sticky eyes.
Altacor has developed a range of products to overcome the problem, including Clinitas Hydrate which can be used overnight to restore the water balance of the tears. Clinitas is available on prescription or at high street opticians and pharmacists including Boots
Written by Nina Beadle