What Causes Eye Dryness?
Dry eye is a pretty common eye condition. It can also be pretty annoying, interrupting daily activities. In order to treat, it’s important to understand common causes of dry eye:
– Studies show that chronic dry eye can be a symptom of several autoimmune
disorders such as lupus, Sjögren’s Syndrome, Grave’s disease and rheumatoid
Vitamin Deficiency – Dry eyes may be linked to a nutritional deficiency – namely a vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A rich food sources include sweet potatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, pumpkin and carrots. A well- balanced diet can help maintain the natural health and lubrication of the eyes.
Contact Lens Wear –
Many long-term contact lens wearers will gradually develop dry eyes over the
course of use. Research suggests that long-term wearing of contact lenses can
interfere with the natural layer of tears that coats and protects the surface
of the eyes. Contact lenses can lead to the evaporation of this natural layer
of lubrication, causing the eyes to feel dry and gritty. Contact lens wearers
can combat dry eyes by swapping out lenses for glasses regularly or by opting
for a more moisturizing pair of disposable contact lenses.
Excessive Screen Time
– Most of us spend several hours a day staring at a computer screen,
smartphone and television. Excessive screen time can significantly lower how
often you blink your eyes, and blinking is the natural way your eyes re-lubricate
with a secretion of tears, mucus and natural oils. If you spend a significant
amount of time in front of a screen, take frequent breaks throughout to relax
Over-the-Counter Medications – Dry eyes are a common side effect because
medications will often impact natural tear production. Many medications can
lead to dry eyes, however, most notably are antihistamines, decongestants,
antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds, sleeping pills, diuretics, blood
pressure drugs and painkillers. If you’re eyes are dry due to a new medication,
talk to your doctor about an appropriate alternative.
Aging – As we
age, the body begins to gradually decline. The eyes, along with the rest of the
body, also experience the effects of aging. With age, the tear ducts can suffer
inflammation and produce fewer tears, resulting in dry eye.
Corrective Eye or
Eyelid Surgery – Dry eye can be a common side effect of eye or eyelid
surgeries. Those who undergo these types of procedures can experience dry eyes
for up to six months following their surgery.