The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Try sour gummy worms?

Salivation induced better lacrimal gland function in dry eyes.
Nepal Med Coll J. 2009 Dec;11(4):258-60.
Pramanik T, Ghising R.
Dept of Physiology, Nepal Medical College, Jorpati, Kathmandu, Nepal.

The dry eye syndrome is a common eye symptom causing blurry vision. To meet the demand of the modem world students and professionals are compelled to expose themselves to the computer screen for long stretch of time, which is one of the causes of dry eye. It is not always feasible to instil eyes with artificial tears time to time to protect them from dryness. Rather to adopt any simple physiological process associated with optimum lacrimation is a better option to keep eyes moist during computer works. Volunteers (n = 22) having mild dry eyes participated in this study. Tear production was assessed by Schirmer test by keeping Schirmer strip on ocular surface for 5 minutes and recording the length of the moistened area. Then the subject was allowed to keep a piece of lopsy candy (a sour fruit pulp mixed with sugar that is sweet and sour in taste) in mouth for 5 minutes that caused salivation. During salivation, again tear production was assessed. [It was standardized in such a way that, the length of the moistened strip will be 25 - 30 mm for normal eyes, 15 - 10 mm for dry eye, 06 - 10 mm for mild dry eye, 02 - 05 mm for moderate dryness and 00 - 01 mm for severe dry eye.] Tear production was found to be increased significantly (supported by increased length of moistened area of Schirmer strip) during salivation especially in dry eye in all volunteers. The lacrimal gland is the major contributor to the aqueous layer of the tear film which consists of water, electrolytes and proteins; secretion of which are under tight neural control. Anticholinergic agents play an important role in ocular dryness because of hypo-secretion. The sensory root of facial nucleus contains efferent preganglionic parasympathetic fibers for submandibular and sublingual salivary gland and lacrimal gland. The sensory root conveys gustatory fibers from the presulcul area (anterior two-third) of the tongue via the chorda tympani and via the palatine and greater petrosal nerve, taste fibers from the soft palate; it also carries preganglionic (secretomotor) innervations of the submandibular and sublingual salivary gland, lacrimal gland and gland of nasal and palatine mucosa. The taste sensation from the anterior two-third of the tongue, carried by the seventh cranial nerve, a nerve, parasympathetic in nature that contains efferent preganglionic fibers to lacrimal gland. Being stimulated, seventh cranial nerve helps in secretion of tear from the lacrimal glands and gives a sense of relief to the persons facing the problem of mild dryness of eyes.
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