Dry Eyes Demystified: Exploring the Common Causes

Dry Eyes Demystified: Exploring the Common Causes

Dry Eyes Demystified: Exploring the Common Causes

Globally, close to a billion people suffer from dry eyes. The National Eye Institute cites many factors that can cause this eye condition. Understanding them can help you prevent dry eye syndrome. Here are the common dry eye causes to consider.



The Causes


Several factors can disrupt the quality of your tear film. Mucus, fatty oils, and aqueous fluid make up your tear film. The right combination of these tear components can lubricate your eyes. Good eye lubrication can help maintain clear vision. Issues with any of them can result in dry eye syndrome. Here are the common causes of this eye condition:


  • Easy tear evaporation may be a result of clogged meibomian glands. This condition is common among people with skin disorders like rosacea. Working long hours on your computer causes you to blink less often. This leads to more tear evaporation. Eyelid issues and allergies, as well as vitamin A deficiency, can also cause dry eyes. Exposure to dry air, wind, or smoke can dry up the tear film. The preservatives in eye drops can also do the same thing. 

  • Low tear production can cause dry eye syndrome. The aqueous liquid is important in maintaining eye lubrication. The term for inadequate tear production is keratoconjunctivitis sicca, which is common in older people. Low tear production can result from aging, contact lens wearing, and certain medications. Medical conditions, such as lupus or thyroid disorders, can also cause this eye problem. 



The Risk Factors


Dry eye syndrome can happen at any time. Lifestyle and diet can affect your tear film quality. Your age and health can also do the same. Your risk for developing dry eye syndrome may increase because of specific factors. Here are some of the risk factors of this eye condition:


  • A low vitamin A diet can increase your risk of dry eye. You can get this vitamin from natural foods, such as broccoli, liver, and carrots. 

  • Contact lens wearing or a past refractive surgery can dry your tears as well. 

  • If you are at least 50 years old, your tear production will decrease due to aging. 

  • As a woman, you are more at risk of dry eyes because of hormonal changes from birth control pills, pregnancy, or menopause. 



The Complications


Dry eye syndrome can occur without the individual knowing it. Sometimes, the symptoms may be mistaken for allergies because they happen when allergies occur. Without proper detection and treatment, you may experience complications. Dry eye can make eye infections happen more frequently. 


A lack of tears can damage the surfaces of your eyes. This could lead to inflammation, ulceration, and vision loss. The discomfort and pain from dry eye syndrome can lower your quality of life. 



How Your Eye Doctor Can Help


A comprehensive eye exam can check for dry eye syndrome. This is a painless and simple test. You will receive dilating eye drops to widen your pupils. This will allow your eye doctor to determine if you have eye issues, such as dry eye syndrome. Your eye doctor will check the tears you produce and how quickly your tears dry up. The structure of your eyelids can also impact your eye lubrication. 


Understanding the causes of dry eye can help you prevent it from occurring or worsening. At Eye Carumba Optometry, we help our patients achieve lasting good eyesight. Feel free to visit our facility in San Francisco, California, for an in-person consultation. Please call 415-360-6900 to set an appointment or ask about our dry eye syndrome treatment packages. 

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