Optometrist Questions Dry Eye

What causes dry eyes?

My mom frequently has dry eyes, and I am curious to know what triggers this condition in some people?

8 Answers

Dry eyes can be caused by a variety of reasons. Your tear film has three layers: fatty oils, aqueous fluid and mucus. The tear film layers keep the surface of your eyes lubricated, smooth and clear. If any of the layers are disrupted then that can lead to dry eyes. Tear film dysfunction can be caused by many things including hormone changes, autoimmune disease, environmental, medications, inflamed eyelid glands, or allergic eye disease. When the tear layers are disrupted then it will cause either decreased tear production or increased tear evaporation and/or inflammation.

That’s a great question. Dry eye is multicausal. Generally as we get older, cells that create our tears become less efficient. Some medications can dry the eyes, low omega-3 intake, and dehydration are also major factors. Long hours on computers and other electronic devices are making everyone at greater risk for eye dryness.
I hope this was helpful.

Stay safe!

Dr. John Lowitz, OD

There are lots of reasons for dry eye: medications, computer use, hormonal changes, autoimmune issues, etc. These days, we are seeing lots of dry eye even in young patients due to excessive computer use. The most common cause of dry eye is Meibomian gland dysfunction.
The causes of dry eye is a very long list. It includes hormonal changes, medications ,environmental and systemic medical history such as thyroid or inflammatory conditions.

Dr. Lior Koppel
Dry eye syndrome is a very complex disease and has very many potential causes: environment, medications, autoimmune conditions, age/hormones and function of the oil glands on the eyelids. Women are predominantly more at risk of developing dry eyes throughout their lifetime.

A thorough examination will help decipher what is causing your mother's dry eye symptoms.

Dr. EM
Poor tear film production , Sjögren’s syndrome , meibomian gland dysfunction etc
There are many causes of dry eyes, some include: certain medications, dry environment (lack of humidity), hormone fluctations, damage to the oil glands, improper application/removal of makeup, heavy computer use, working under or sleep with a fan, contact lens overwear, post-op LASIK, etc.
Age, inflammation, collagen autoimmune disease, being female, menopause, just about all medications especially for hypertension and depression, poor diet, lack of excellent hygiene to the lid margins, not blinking completely, dry climates, air conditioning, lack of humidifiers in the home, staring at computer screens, ceiling fans, incomplete blink, thyroid disease. There are surely many causes that I missed. Take her to the eye doctor.