Common Causes Of Dry Eyes
There are a number of reasons your eyes may be dry. Common causes include decreased tear production, increased tear evaporation, and changing composition of tears.
- Decreased Tear Production: There are a number of things that can result in decreased tear production. Common culprits include:
- Getting older
- Damage to the tear glands
- Diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and thyroid disorders.
- Medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants blood pressure drugs, acne medication, and birth control pills
- Increased Tear Evaporation: exposure to wind, smoke, and very dry air can lead to increased tear evaporation. This is also a problem associated with blinking less often—people often blink less when they are concentrating on work, reading, driving, or looking at a computer screen.
- Changing Tear Composition: Your tears are made up of oil, mucus, and water. If the balance of your tears changes, your eyes may get dry. This sometimes happens when glands in your eyes get blocked. For example, if the gland that produces oil gets clogged, the composition of your tears will be altered.
The most obvious symptoms associated with dry eyes are itchiness, dryness, and redness, but there are a few other signs to look for. Other symptoms include watering eyes, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, discomfort, and tired eyes.
Dry eyes aren’t just uncomfortable—left untreated your eyes could become infected or your vision could be permanently damaged. If you notice any symptoms of dry eyes, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
People with dry eyes can choose from a variety of treatment options depending on their individual circumstances. In some situations, patients will need to make lifestyle changes like changing medications (after consulting a doctor), taking breaks when working on a computer or reading, and wearing sunglasses out doors.
In other cases artificial tear drops can be used to lubricate the eyes and prevent them from drying out. To learn more about treating dry eyes, contact the Aloha Eye Clinic.