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English for PTA


Lots of people complain of dry eye syndrome (DES). Postmenopausal women are more likely to suffer from dry eye than men of the same age. But not just hormonal changes may trigger the condition.

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

DES is caused by the eyes not producing correct moisture. There are quite a few reasons this may occur. If not enough tears are produced or if their quality is not adequate, the DES sufferer may experience stinging or burning. This might happen because of air conditioning in rooms and on airplanes, or looking at a computer screen for several hours. Other symptoms may include the following: stringy mucous in or around the eyes, sensitivity to smoke or wind, eye fatigue after short periods of reading, sensitivity to light, excessive tearing, and, blurred vision often getting worse towards the end of the day. Of course, correct nutrition and eyedrops may help, but sometimes you need a PTA …

Pharmacy customer: Hallo.
PTA: Hallo.

My eyes are really irritated and dry.
Now that is unpleasant! Do you have any other problems?

Yes, I have this mucous-like gunge on my eyes when I wake up in the mornings.
Is it possible that your job involves working at a computer for longer periods?

Yes, certainly. I work at a PC screen all day, every day from Monday to Friday!
And I assume that the air conditioning is running full blast all day too.

Of course! It’s so warm at the moment, that I’d melt away if we didn’t have air conditioning. Why?
Well, the combination of working at the PC and air conditioning have caused your eyes to become irritated.

Yes. Most people don’t realise that when we work on the PC, we tend not to blink as frequently as natural and then the eyes don’t get enough moisture. There are other causes of dry eye, but this is apparently the most widespread.

What are the other causes?
When people get older, the glands around the eye that provide the correct mixture for moisturizing the surface don’t function properly. Another cause is this mixture getting out of balance.

Out of balance! How does that happen?
Tears are not just made up of water you see.

Really? I never thought about them before!
Tears are a really complex mixture of water, lipids, proteins and electrolytes. These are produced by various glands situated around the eye.

That’s interesting!
That’s true! Basically it’s the balance between the secretion of oil, water and mucous. Problems with any of the glands producing the mix tend to lead to dry eye.

Do you have any eye drops that are good for treating dry eyes?
Of course! This OTC-product is one of our best sellers, it’s alleviates the irritation almost immediately.

Thank you. This is exactly what I need.
Good. You might also look at your nutrition, lack of vitamin A and not enough omega-3 fatty acids may also cause dry eye.

I certainly will, thank you.

more likely wahrscheinlicher
trigger auslösen
condition Leiden
moisture Feuchtigkeit
reasons Gründe
tears Tränen
sufferer Leidende
stinging stechend
burning brennend
stringy (ugs.) zäh
mucous Schleim
sensitivity Empfindlichkeit
fatigue Ermüdung
excessive tearing übermäßiger Tränenfluss
blurred vision Sehtrübung
nutrition Ernährung
irritated gereizt
mucous-like schleimähnlich
gunge (ugs.) klebriges Zeug
blink blinzeln
widespread verbreitet
glands Drüsen
fatty acids Fettsäuren

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 08/12 auf Seite 66.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker