Dry Eye Syndrome – A Personal Perspective

biotearsSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

When I was diagnosed with Dry Eye Syndrome, my immediate response was to research the condition in order to learn how to best address the symptoms I was experiencing and, most importantly, support my long term eye health. I knew that I wanted to continue to wear contact lenses and I needed to be comfortable while sitting in front of a computer screen all day. What I found surprised me. For instance, I didn’t know that the tear film actually consists of three layers with each layer having its own purpose. The oily layer on the outermost surface of the tear film smooths the tear surface and helps prevent evaporation of tears. The middle watery layer cleanses the eyes and washes away irritants or foreign particles. The inner mucus layer helps to spread tears across the eye surface and helps keep the eyes moist. Tears consist of proteins, electrolytes, and nutrients that are critical to maintaining the health of the eye surface.

If you have ever been diagnosed with dry eye, you are well aware how uncomfortably irritating dry eyes can be. Normally, the eyes produce tears at a slow and steady rate, moisturizing the eye surface with every blink to keep the eyes comfortable. Aqueous tear-deficient dry eye occurs when the eyes fail to produce enough tears to properly maintain a healthy eye surface. Evaporative dry eye occurs when tears evaporate too quickly. This is generally the result of inflammation of the glands that produce the oily part of tears that would normally slow the evaporation and keep the tears stable. Sometimes, the eyes just don’t produce the right quality of tears necessary for eye comfort.

I also found that I wasn’t alone, as nearly 5 million Americans over the age of 50 experience eye dryness, with women almost three times as likely as men to develop the condition. Dry eye syndrome can be age-related, a side effect of medication, or can be caused by allergies, pregnancy, inadequate nutrition, medical conditions, and long term contact lens wear. Though it may seem strange, people with dry eyes may find that their eyes water excessively. This is the result of the eyes responding to the discomfort, which can include stinging or burning, scratchiness, grittiness, excessive tearing, fatigue, and a decreased tolerance for sustained visual activity, such as reading or working on the computer.

Normally, I like to take a natural or functional approach to treating any illness or health condition. However, I also look at conventional treatment and consider all my options. I found that the treatment of dry eye largely consists of addressing the symptoms of the ongoing condition. Conventionally, after ruling out any underlying medical causes of dry eye, an anti-inflammatory medication can be prescribed. While this medication usually helps to reduce the symptoms of dry eye, it can take as long as three to six months of twice daily dosages before the medication takes effect. Another option was to give up wearing contact lenses, something I definitely did not want to do if at all possible. Another suggestion included using artificial tears as the first line of therapy to provide temporary relief and replace naturally produced tears. For me, these were simply not ideal solutions and I was looking for something more.

About two years ago, I discovered BioTears®, a nutraceutical manufactured by BioSyntrx. Even though I technically still have the condition, I have been comfortably symptom free during this time. I still wear contacts although I am careful not to abuse the privilege, and I still work at the computer, but remember to look away and take occasional screen breaks. Honestly, what prompted this article was the fact that I got complacent about taking the supplement. I was traveling for a week and in all the busyness of visiting my very large family, I neglected to take the BioTears®. And admittedly, I didn’t immediately get back into the habit for another week after I returned. And by then, wow! The dryness, the grittiness, the irritation and watery eyes came back with a vengeance!

Getting back on track, it only took a few days of supplementing with BioTears® for my symptoms to abate and eye comfort to return. I really learned a good lesson. Dry eye syndrome may be ongoing but the symptoms can be easily managed. I decided to take another look at why BioTears® works so well for me. BioTears® was scientifically designed and is biochemically balanced with natural ingredients that support fatty acid metabolism, as well as the structure and function of all three layers of the tear film. This synergistic formula supports normal production of eye lubricants along with ocular surface health, and modulates the surface tension of the tear film that affects the comfort of contact lens wearers, like me.

Along with other supplements that I regularly take to support overall health and wellness, BioTears® stands out as one supplement that I will not neglect to take again. If you have been diagnosed or have symptoms of dry eyes, I highly recommend BioTears®. It has helped me tremendously. It can help you, too!

BioTearsBioTears® by BioSyntrx – BioTears® uniquely addresses the underlying inflammatory processes associated with dry eye syndrome. Along with vitamins A, C, D. E and B6, BioTears® provides EPA, DHA, green tea and curcumin to safely and satisfactorily relieve the common symptoms of dry eyes including dryness, irritation, grittiness and often times, excessive tearing.

What is Metabolism Anyway?

whatismetabolismJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The first documented reference to metabolism can be traced all the way back to 1260 A.D., when Ibn al-Nafis, a Syrian born physician, authored a work entitled The Treatise of Kamil on the Prophet’s Biography. Per the recent article in IEEE PULSE Engineering In Medicine and Biology Society magazine, Ibn al-Nafis reportedly stated: “Both the body and its parts are in a continuous state of dissolution and nourishment, so they are inevitably undergoing permanent change.” And that is precisely what metabolism is. Metabolism comes from the Greek word, metabolismos, meaning “change” or “overthrow,” as in the breakdown of material.

While many of us may think of metabolism in reference to how quickly or slowly we gain or lose weight, cellular metabolism is any biological process required by the body to support life, allowing for maintenance, growth, reproduction, damage repair and the breakdown of food into energy. In simple terms, metabolism is divided into two categories that comprise of all the physical and chemical processes the body uses to either convert or utilize energy. These chemical reactions are organized into metabolic pathways that are finely regulated by crucial enzymes in order to maintain homeostasis.

  • Catabolism is a series of chemical reactions that breakdown complex molecules into smaller units, such as the breakdown of proteins into amino acids, typically releasing energy.
  • Anabolism is a series of chemical reactions that builds molecules from smaller components, such as muscle tissue growth, typically requiring energy usage.

All cellular activities require energy. Consequently, cells are tasked with both obtaining energy and using that energy to drive energy-requiring reactions. Because cells must constantly expend energy derived from their environment, energy formation is a vital component of metabolism. The key to producing the metabolic energy necessary for proper bodily function is nutrition. A nutrient is any chemical component of food that the body requires to carry out vital processes. Good nutrition benefits health at the cellular level where energy production occurs. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for obtaining energy from macronutrients and often function as enzymes or coenzymes.

B-complex vitamins are particularly important for energy metabolism. All B vitamins help to convert carbohydrates into glucose that the body uses to produce energy. B-complex vitamins also aid in the metabolism of fats and proteins.

B1 (Thiamine) – Thiamin plays a crucial role in metabolic reactions. It is a required for the formation of ATP, which every cell uses for energy.

B2 (Riboflavin) – In addition to producing energy for the body, B2 works as an antioxidant and works to convert B6 and folate into usable forms.

B3 (Niacin) – In addition to its energy producing and anti-inflammatory properties, niacin aids in hormone production, improves circulation and supports proper nervous system function.

B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – B5 plays a role in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates for energy production. It is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells, as well as certain hormones including stress-related adrenal hormones. B5 helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract and aids in the utilization of other B vitamins.

B6 (Pyridoxine) – Like other energy producing B vitamins, B6 has many functions. B6 assists in the production of neurotransmitters melatonin, serotonin and norepinephrine. It supports normal brain development and function and works synergistically with other B vitamins to control homocysteine, an amino acid associated with heart disease. B6 is necessary for B12 absorption, and for red blood and immune cell production.

B9 (Folic Acid) – This synergistic B vitamin is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in DNA and RNA production. It is especially important during pregnancy, infancy and adolescence when cells and tissues are growing rapidly.

B12 (Cobalamin) – Besides the conversion of nutrients into energy, B12 is particularly important for nerve cell health, DNA and RNA production and homocysteine regulation. Along with other B vitamins, B12 assists in red blood production and assists iron utilization.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other fine quality products that support energy metabolism and overall healthy function:

B Complex PlusB Complex Plus by Pure Encapsulations – This popular product contains an exceptional combination of B vitamins in optimal bioavailable forms. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


B-Complex with...B-Complex with Metafolin by Douglas Laboratories – This comprehensive B-complex provides essential B vitamins plus intrinsic factor, a necessary nutrient for B12 absorption. Soy free, vegetarian formula.


Active B-ComplexActive B-Complex by Integrative Therapeutics – This balanced, hypoallergenic B-complex provides active forms of B vitamins. Gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar free, vegetarian formula. NSF Certified for Sport.


Active B ComplexActive B complex by Bioclinic Naturals – This product contains the full array of biologically active B vitamins along with Quatrefolic® folate, in support of the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Gluten, dairy, soy, sugar and yeast free, Non-GMO vegan formulation.


Super Vitamin B...Super Vitamin B Complex by Allergy Research Group – This advanced low allergen potential formula provides substantial amounts of all B vitamins, including co-enzymes forms of B2 and B6 for enhanced bioavailability. Gluten and soy free, vegetarian formulation.


Balanced B ComplexBalanced B Complex by MegaFood 20% OFF This easily digestible balanced B vitamin supplement is formulated with FoodState Nutrients™ to deliver authentic nourishment from 100% whole foods. Gluten, soy and lactose fee, Non-GMO, kosher vegan formulation.



Metabolism: The physiological Power-Generating Process. http://pulse.embs.org/may-2016/metabolism-the-physiological-power-generating-process/?trendmd-shared=1

What is Metabolism? http://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/What-is-Metabolism.aspx

Metabolism: The Facts Behind the Myths. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8871.php

Metabolic Energy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK9903/

Nutrients Involved In Energy Metabolism and Blood Health. https://www.hccfl.edu/media/44280/10_nutrients_involved_in_energy_metabolism_and_blood_health.pdf

The Catabolism of Fats and Proteins for Energy. http://antranik.org/the-catabolism-of-fats-and-proteins-for-energy/


Fight Aging with Hyaluronic Acid

combatagingJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

For many of us, regardless of age, skin care is an important part of our daily ritual. Skin care basics include nourishment, both inside and out, to protect and enhance the look and health of our largest organ. Skin that has lost its youthful luster, along with chronically dry eyes and joint pain and stiffness, are very common aging concerns. Did you know that hyaluronic acid can improve the appearance of the skin, reduce dry eye discomfort and help alleviate painful joints as well? Naturally produced by the body and found in most cells, hyaluronic acid is an essential component of the skin, joints, eyes, and connective tissues.

Highly researched benefits of hyaluronic acid include:

  • The ability to reduce inflammation and relieve aching joints.
  • The consistency, viscosity and ability to bind to water has been shown to help maintain vibrant, healthy, youthful looking skin.
  • The capability to provide relief for dry eyes by replenishing moisture, restoring fluid balance and aiding tear production.

Found in the greatest concentration in the skin, hyaluronic acid nourishes and hydrates collagen, helping to increase moisture and provide elasticity and flexibility. As a highly viscous substance that has a large capacity to retain water, hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant, or moisture-binding substance, that hydrates and firms the skin. Babies are born with a high level of hyaluronic acid, which keeps their skin so beautifully plump and smooth. As we age, our production of hyaluronic acid begins to decline, most significantly around age 40, when we may begin to notice fine lines and wrinkles.

Often recommended by dermatologists, hyaluronic acid can help improve skin texture and appearance naturally. Technologically advanced skincare formulas, such as topical serums and eye creams, have been shown to reduce fluid loss and slow collagen degradation, naturally reducing the signs of aging. Skin cells that are sufficiently hydrated appear healthier and more youthful. Because it is able to naturally lubricate different parts of the human body, some describe hyaluronic acid as “nature’s moisturizer.”

Hyaluronic acid is also found in cartilage and connective tissues. When healthy joints are properly lubricated, they work like well-oiled machines. We can thank synovial fluid, a thick, slippery substance whose primary function is to act as a shock absorber, cushioning, lubricating, and reducing friction on the cartilage-covered bone surfaces in healthy joints. The concentrated levels of hyaluronic acid found in synovial fluid allows for pressure absorption and smooth, predictable movement. Hyaluronic acid can help to maintain and protect normal joint cushioning, providing resistance to wear and tear. It may also help to improve joint lubrication and reduce pain and tenderness associated with degenerative joint disease.

As the fluid inside the eye socket is composed mostly of hyaluronic acid, it is commonly used to treat eye injuries and disorders including dry eyes and cataracts. Hyaluronic acid is often utilized before, during and after eye procedures, such as surgical removal of cataracts, corneal transplants or detached retina repair. Anti-inflammatory compounds found in hyaluronic acid help to reduce the inflammation associated with dry eyes. Hyaluronic acid in supplement or eye drop form has been shown to comfort and soothe the symptoms of dry eye, providing relief for many who have dry eye syndrome.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other fine products to support skin, eye and joint health:

Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic Acid by Pure Encapsulations – Each vegetable capsule provides 40 mg of low molecular weight hyaluronic acid powder in support of healthy joint comfort and function, as well as support for a healthy and youthful appearance. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.


Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic Acid by Collagen M.D. – One serving provides 100 mg of hyaluronic acid in support of healthy tissue hydration. Gluten, dairy, soy and sugar free formulation.


Vegan Hyaluronic...Vegan Hyaluronic Acid by Deva Nutrition – This sustainably sourced plant-based hyaluronic acid supplement supports soft connective tissues throughout the body. Each serving supplies 100 mg of hyaluronic acid. Gluten, soy, dairy and sugar free vegan formulation.


Episilk Pure...Episilk™ Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum by Hyalogic – This intensely hydrating serum rejuvenates and improves the tone and appearance of the skin. Light and non-oily, this concentrated premium grade hyaluronic acid enhances the skin’s ability to retain moisture, leaving the skin looking soft and fresh, while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. Contains de-ionized water, hyaluronic acid and zinc citrate.


Hyaluronic Acid...Hyaluronic Acid Liquid by Pure Encapsulations – This low molecular weight convenient liquid formula supports skin hydration and healthy joint lubrication. Natural apple flavor, stevia sweetened. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.


How Do Synovial Joints Work? http://www.arthritis-health.com/types/joint-anatomy/how-do-synovial-joints-work
What Is a Synovial Joint? http://www.arthritis-health.com/types/joint-anatomy/what-synovial-joint
Where is Hyaluronic Acid located in the body? https://storify.com/stanfordchem/where-is-hyaluronic-acid-located-in-the-body
Effect of hypotonic 0.4% hyaluronic acid drops in dry eye patients: across-over study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19034126
Tackling Dry Eyes Syndrome. https://www.victoriahealth.com/editorial/tackling-dry-eyes-syndrome