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Basal tears. ---How do you make them come out?

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  • Basal tears. ---How do you make them come out?

    Since they're the ones all of us need, how do we make our eyes secreet them? When we press them shut to force tears out of them, are basal tears what we get? If they are:

    Do we stimulate our eyes to go into production every time we do it?
    Is the pressure we apply sufficient to express oil out of the meibomian glands?

  • #2
    I don't know this for sure and so take this with a grain of salt. My thoughts would be that any "stimulated" tear would be from the large lacrimal gland not the Krause or Wolfring glands. In other words basal/steady state tears are not externally stimulated.


    • #3
      Thank you indrep-- I've heard some people say that chewing gum can stimulate tear secretion. These wouldn't be basal tears either correct?


      • #4
        Ariel, I have Sjogrens and besides the dry eyes, also have dry mouth, throat etc. Sometimes I am so dry I cannot swallow without taking a drink.

        We are told by drs to suck on sugarless lemon drops to stimulate saliva glands. It does pretty well, although it only lasts as long as the candy. I chew sugarless gum almost all the time I'm awake to keep my throat moist. I can't say it has helped my eyes, but lots of times people say something helps both their eyes and saliva.

        I just reread Indrep's post and I think it nuked my post. Indrep would know better than I. Lucy
        Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

        The Dry Eye Queen


        • #5
          My comments are related to the different tear glands and the type/quality of tear they secrete. In your case the salivary glands need to be stimulated for comfort and necessity. The osmolarity of saliva not near as important as in tears.

          Just for nods, the tear and salivary glands do share some of the the same nerves. The difference is the lacrimal glands have all three types of nerves providing information in their neural loop, not just one or two.


          • #6
            Basal tears are stimulated by neurotransmitters like acetylcholine that bind to muscarinic receptors in the glands.A pharmacological substitute for acetylcholine is pilocarpine like in Salagen tablets or Evoxac tablets. They both stimulate saliva AND tears.As well as perspiration unfortunately and u should drink plenty of liquids to keep hydrated while on these tablets. They are not easy to take as they stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and may cause dizziness chills etc in the first one hour after ingestion. They are worth using for an aggressive inductory treatment of very desiccated eyes in combination with antiinflammatory drops like steroids and immunoauppressants. Pilocarpine combats the IO pressure increase and prevents steroid drops from causing it.However it does not help the increased susceptibility to infection caused by the steroids.
            Hope that helps, will PM you soon.



            • #7
              Originally posted by ringo View Post
              A pharmacological substitute for acetylcholine is pilocarpine like in Salagen tablets or Evoxac tablets. They both stimulate saliva AND tears.

              I've tried eye drops with pilocarpine in them before seemed to make the eyes whiter and a bit wetter but made them ache more then usual and made my headaches worse as well.


              • #8
                Dear Aaron,

                I was talking about the tablets with pilocarpine, as I do not know anything about the effect of the drops. I would presume that the drops mostly affect the eye pressure (meaining decreasing it) and that is why you get the headaches. I think that to "switch on" more tears you would have to ingest the drops rather than put them on your eye surface (for example they give these drops to animals with dry eye orally).
                For humans there are tablets (Salagen).