What Causes Dry Eye Disease?

What Causes Dry Eye Disease?

What Causes Dry Eye Disease?

What Causes Dry Eye Disease?

Do you often experience dryness, discomfort, and irritation in your eyes? If so, you may have dry eye disease, a prevalent ailment affecting millions worldwide. Are you wondering what causes dry eye disease? Understanding the underlying causes is essential for effective management and treatment.


Environmental Factors


One of the primary causes of dry eye disease is environmental factors. Exposure to the following can cause tears to evaporate quickly:

  • Dry or windy climates
  • Air conditioning
  • Indoor heating

This can leave the eyes dry and uncomfortable. Spending prolonged hours staring at screens, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets, can also lead to dry eyes. It reduces the frequency of blinking, which is necessary for distributing tears across the eyes.




As you age, the risk of developing dry eye disease increases. Tear production tends to decrease with age, resulting in less eye lubrication. Hormonal changes during menopause in women can also contribute to eye dryness. It is why older individuals should be mindful of the symptoms of dry eye disease and take steps to manage it effectively.


Medical Conditions


Several medical conditions can cause or exacerbate dry eye disease. Tear production and quality can reduce due to autoimmune conditions such as Sjogren's syndrome, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Dry eyes may result from this. Diabetes, thyroid disorders, and vitamin A deficiency are other conditions that can impact tear production and contribute to dry eye disease.




Certain medications can also trigger dry eye disease. Drugs that reduce tear production or quality, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants, can cause dry eyes. Do you take any medicines that may cause dry eye symptoms? If so, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss potential changes to your prescription.


Eye Health


Issues related to eye health can also contribute to dry eye disease. Eye surgeries, such as LASIK and cataract surgery, can disrupt tear production and cause temporary or prolonged dryness of the eyes. Eyelid problems, such as blepharitis, can also affect the stability and composition of tears. This can lead to dryness and discomfort.


Lifestyle Factors


The likelihood of having dry eye disease can increase with specific lifestyle choices. Poor nutrition, inadequate hydration, and smoking can all affect tear composition and production, leading to eye dryness. Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, stay hydrated, and quit smoking. This will lower your risk of developing dry eye disease.


Allergens and Pollutants


Lastly, exposure to environmental triggers can also cause or worsen dry eye disease. Allergens such as pollen, dust, pet dander, and smoke can irritate the eyes and trigger dryness.

It is essential to identify and avoid such triggers whenever possible. Take appropriate measures such as using air purifiers, wearing protective eyewear, and using artificial tears to alleviate dry eye symptoms.




The factors discussed above can contribute to dry eye disease. Understanding these underlying causes is crucial for effectively managing and treating the condition. Are you experiencing symptoms of dry eye disease? If so, consulting an eye care professional is essential for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate management plan.

For more on dry eye syndrome, contact Blink Eyecare and Eyewear at our Charlotte, North Carolina office. Call (704) 817-3800 to schedule an appointment today.

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