Daily exercise may provide relief for dry, itchy eyes, says research

Daily exercise may provide relief for dry, itchy eyes, says research



A team led by researchers from the University of Waterloo has made some interesting discoveries about how doing exercise is beneficial for a number of reasons; including a healthy heart, keeping diabetes at bay, and protecting from obesity.


They discovered a significant increase in tear secretion and tear film stability; after participating in aerobic exercise can be another remedy for relieving dry, itchy eyes.


Their study, ‘Differential effect of maximal incremental treadmill exercise on tear secretion and tear film stability in athletes and non-athletes was published in the journal, ‘Experimental Eye Research.


The study was co-authored by Otchere; the University of Cape Coast’s Samuel Abokyi, Sekyere Nyamaah, and Michael Ntodie, and Ghana’s Our Lady of Grace Hospital’s Yaw Osei Akoto.


Every time we blink, our eyes are covered in tear film–an essential protective coating necessary for maintaining healthy ocular function.


Healthy tear film comprises three layers-oil, water, and mucin-that work together; to hydrate the ocular surface and protect against infection-causing irritants like dust or dirt.

ALSO READ: Lifestyle changes to prevent type 2 diabetes naturally


When any part of the tear film becomes unstable; the ocular surface can develop dry spots, causing eye symptoms like itchiness or stinging and burning sensations.


“With so much of our activity tied to screen usage, dry eye symptoms are becoming increasingly common;” said Heinz Otchere, a Ph.D. candidate in vision science at Waterloo.


“Instead of having to use eye drops or other alternative treatments; our study aimed to determine if remaining physically active can be an effective preventative measure against dryness.”


Fifty-two participants were divided into two groups–athlete and non-athlete–to participate in an exercise session.


Participants in the athlete group exercised at least five times per week; while non-athlete participants exercised no more than once per week.


Researchers, which included experts from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, performed visual examinations before and five minutes after each exercise session; where tear secretion and tear break-up time were assessed.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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