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What Causes Dry Eyes?

Having dry eyes can be frustrating. Dry eyes can affect your vision, cause burning and stinging, excessive watering, and even make it feel like you have something in your eye. But what causes your eyes to get dry in the first place?

Dry eyes are caused by a lack of oil or tear production in your eyes. Lack of oil and tear production could be caused by a number of factors. Below are some of the most common causes of dry eyes.

 

Aging and/or Medical Conditions

As we age, we produce less tears. Some medical conditions can cause dry eyes as well, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disorders and Vitamin A deficiency.

 

Medications

Certain medications carry a side effect of dry eyes. These include antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, blood pressure medication, birth control and acne medication.

 

Imbalance in Tear Composition

Tear film is made up of 3 layers:  water, mucus and oil. Problems with any of these layers could lead to dry eyes. Problems with these can be attributed to clogged or blocked meibomian glands in the corner of your eye or inflammation around your eyelids.

 

Too Much Screen Time

When you’re looking at a screen, you blink about half as much as you normally would. This can dry out your eyes and make your vision seem blurry or fuzzy.

 

To reduce dry eye symptoms, you can use preservative-free artificial tears to help moisten your eyes. You can also try sleeping with a humidifier at night. If you look at screens all day, try taking more frequent breaks to allow your eyes to rest. Your local optometrist/ophthalmologist are available for more information.