Learn more about the many causes of dry eye syndrome.

What causes dry eye?

There are many potential causes of dry eye.

In some cases, the cause is obvious, such as irritants or short-term inflammation.

Some of the other causes of chronic dry eye problems include:

  • Medications:  Medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, as well as anti-histamines, anti-depressants, and oral contraceptives all contribute to dehydrating the eye and causing dry eye.

  • Low Water Consumption:  It is important for men to drink around 100 oz/day and women to drink around 70 oz/day to keep the body hydrated. When our body is dehydrated, it can result in significant dry eye.
  • Age and Gender:  Dry eye can be caused or worsened by hormonal changes experienced during the aging process, especially for women. Men and women over the age of 40 tend to show more dry eye signs than their younger counterparts.
  • Allergies and the Environment:  Dry climates, higher altitudes, elevated pollen counts, heaters/air conditioning/ceiling fans, and pollution can all contribute to or exacerbate dry eyes
  • Contact Lenses:  Contact lenses divide our fragile tear film in half, as the tears cover both the front and back surface of the contact lens. With our tear film having to cover more surface area, there may not be enough tears to hydrate the eye.
  • Medical Conditions:  Many diseases can cause or exacerbate dry eyes, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disease, high blood pressure, various types of immune disorders, and diabetes.
  • Eye Surgeries:  Eyelid surgeries, LASIK and PRK, Botox, corneal transplants, and other types of surgery can result in dry eyes.
  • Eye Conditions:  People with glaucoma may experience more dry eye signs and symptoms due to the preservatives in glaucoma eye drops. Irregular corneas due to keratoconus increased risk for dry eye.

Because the underlying causes vary, treatment methods after diagnosis will also vary according to the patient. It is also not uncommon for there to be more than one cause for dry eye.

There are many factors in our daily lives that can contribute to or cause dry eye syndrome. Our optometrists at Vision Source Studio 20/20 would love to uncover your source of dry eye and provide you with quick and sustainable relief.

Schedule an appointment today at one of our convenient locations!