What Causes Dry Eyes

Dry eye is a condition that happens when there is inadequate tear production, poor tear retention or excessive evaporation of tears. When people have dry eyes, they may experience red or bloodshot eyes, stinging or burning in eyes, eye strain or eye pain, watery eyes, eye itchiness, blurred vision, light sensitivity of eyes, to name a few. There are many factors that can lead to dry eyes. It is very necessary to know what causes dry eyes. Only after we know that, can we know how to avoid dry eye symptoms or get relief from dry eyes.


Eyes overuse

It is not rare that many people are overusing their eyes. For example, some people are basically always in front of a computer or other similar mobile devices. Using computer itself will not give people dry eyes, the problem is that when people are using computers, they are not blinking eyes as frequently as when they are not using a computer or similar devices. When a person does not blink frequently enough, he or she is not spreading tear film across the eyes as regularly as he or she should. As a result, the eyes get dried out.


Regular exposure to unfavorable environments

Dry eyes also occur when people are regularly exposed to eye-unfriendly environments, such as wind, smoke and dry air. Both wind and dry air will speed up evaporation of the tear film. The smoke give people dry eyes in a way different from that of wind and dry air. Smoke irritates eyes and introduces chemicals and foreign substances to the tear film that can mess with tear quality. When you have to go out, the best choice for you is to wear sunglasses and that will wrap around and protect your eyes from all angles (or are at least big enough to offer your eyes a ton of protection). When you have to stay in a place filled with smoke or other eye irritants, you may also consider safety glasses or other eyewear that can help you protect your vision.


Health conditions that dry out eyes

Many people may not expect there is a possibility that some health conditions may lead to dry eyes. However, some health conditions may indeed stop people from making enough tears. For example, when a person has the autoimmune condition Sjogren’s syndrome, then the mucus membranes and moisture-secreting glands of eyes and mouth will be affected, and dry eyes are likely to happen. Other health conditions that may caused dry eyes include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, thyroid disorders and vitamin A deficiency. So, go to your doctor to see if your dry eyes are caused by a certain health problem and take suggestions from the doctor.


Medications that lead to dry eyes

As a matter of fact, there are a variety of drugs can cause people to make less tears, including but not limited to antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, blood pressure medication, acne medicine, birth control pills, Parkinson’s disease medication, and medications for anxiety. Taking those medicine does not mean you will definitely suffer from dry eyes, but make sure to tell your doctor which drugs you are taking to give them a better understanding of your situation. That helps your doctor give you a more reasonable prescription.


The factors above often cause dry eyes. Apart from those factors, other events may also cause dry eyes. For example, when a person just wrapped up a laser eye surgery or use contact lens for an extended amount of time. After you pay attention to the causes of dry eyes and take action accordingly, your dry eyes may get better.

Posted on May 5, 2023