Quick and simple tips for truckers, equipment operators and other Professional drivers, to reduce fatigue and protect vision.
It’s more common than you might realize, and it can be deadly. You’ve been on the road for three days straight, with not enough sleep, and the air-conditioner and diesel exhaust blasting your face and eyes. After a while, your lips and face get chapped, your neck and shoulders feel stiff, and your eyelids become so heavy you have to stop and grab some coffee. Even then, your eyes may continue to feel tired and burning. Because you’re on a tight schedule, you press on even though your eyes continue to bother you and you know you’re becoming a road hazard. There often just isn’t time, on the road, to adequately protect your eyes.
As you are probably aware, there are several things drivers can do to prevent or relieve tired, strained, irritated “Trucker’s Eyes” on a long distance trip. You’ll be pleased to learn that not all of them involve coffee or eyedrops, either. Bio-Logic Aqua Technologies Biomedical Research has developed a wealth of new information about caring for eyes and skin – the result of a decade of research into dry air and eye moisture. Even if you don’t follow these recommendations to the letter, you never know when the information might come in handy. It might even prevent an accident.
The number-one villain: Dehydration
Much of the discomfort that truckers experience while driving comes from dehydration (drying out) of the eyes, skin (especially the facial skin), and breathing passages. Alleviate the dryness and many of the the symptoms go away!
Dry irritated eyes.
Several environmental factors in the typical truck cabin can combine to cause a slight increase in the rate of moisture (water) evaporation from the TEAR FILM covering the eyes’ exposed surfaces. The tear film is amazingly complex even though it is only about five microns (millionths of a meter) thick. It doesn’t take much evaporation to cause problems. The tear film consists of:
Lipid layer. This topmost layer is comprised of a very thin film of fatty oil that lubricates the eyelid and slows moisture evaporation from the lower layers.
Aqueous layer. The middle and thickest layer contains the vast majority of the tear film’s moisture. This is where most moisture loss occurs. The layer also contains electrolytes, proteins and bacteria-fighting antibodies. It provides oxygenated water to allow the cornea to breathe.
Mucin layer. This bottom layer glues the tear film to the optical surface. The most physically irritating result of tear film moisture loss is an over-concentration of electrolyte (salt) and proteins in the aqueous layer. The results are itching, burning, eye-strain, fatigue and other symptoms. Lack of adequate tear film moisture is called, “dry eye,” “dry irritated eyes,” or “trucker’s dry eye.”