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Why Are My Eyes So Dry? 10 Things That Cause Dry Eye

Many people experience dry eye symptoms at one point or another, but chronic dry eyes is a serious condition that can cause discomfort and disturbed vision if left untreated. Fortunately, relief is available. The soothing dry heat of EyeGiene can help relieve your dry eye symptoms with minimal effort and no mess.

Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye is an incredibly common condition that can have a variety of unpleasant symptoms. These include:

  • A burning or itching sensation
  • Heavy eyes
  • Achy eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Tired eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • A dry sensation in your eyes
  • A stringy discharge
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses

What Causes Dry Eye

The root cause of dry eye is an abnormality of our tears. Our bodies rely on a constant, even layer of tears to keep our eyes healthy and lubricated and provide us with clear vision. If our eyes are not able to produce enough tears, or the tears we do produce do not contain the right mix of lipid, aqueous, and mucin components, the result may be dry eye disease.

Many factors can disrupt our tear production. These include:

Menopause

Postmenopausal women are more likely to suffer from dry eye than men of the same age. Though the exact role menopause plays in the development of dry eye is not well understood the hormonal changes that occur during menopause can have widespread effects on our bodies and may disrupt tear production.

Aging

As we age our eyes become more susceptible to a variety of problems, including dry eye. Though dry eye can occur at any age, it is most commonly found in individuals over the age of 50.

Smoking

Smoking causes a wide variety of health problems, including eye problems like dry eye. In addition to dry eye smoking also increases your chances of developing serious eye problems such as uveitis, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

Eyelid Problems

Lagophthalmos is an eye condition that occurs when you don’t completely close your eyelids when blinking or sleeping and it can lead to severe dry eye symptoms. Though lagophthalmos is typically caused by aging, it can also occur as a result of eye-related cosmetic surgeries such as cosmetic blepharoplasty.

Select Health Conditions

Some systemic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid diseases, lupus, and Sjögren’s syndrome can affect our tear production, causing dry eye.

Allergies

Dry eye is a common side effect of many seasonal allergies.

Select Medications

Prescription and nonprescription medications such as birth control pills, certain blood pressure medications, antihistamines, and antidepressants can increase your chances of developing dry eye.

Prolonged Screen Use

When we use screens, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers we tend to blink less frequently than we should. This can result in a condition called digital eye strain, which causes greater tear evaporation and can lead to dry eye. One of the best things you can do to rest your eyes and prevent digital eye strain is to follow the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes take a 20 second break and focus your gaze on something that is at least 20 feet away from you.

Contact Lens Use

Though it isn’t well understood how much wearing contact lens contributes to our chances of developing dry eye discomfort is the number one reason patients stop wearing contact lenses.

Environmental Conditions

The environment can play a role in the development of dry eye symptoms. Spending a lot of time in dry environments, both indoors and outdoors, increases your risk of developing dry eye. Ceiling fans, air conditioning, and forced heating units can all cause our tears to evaporate too quickly, causing dry eye symptoms. Frequent flying can also cause or increase dry eye symptoms since the cabin air in airplanes is extremely dry.

Get Relief from Your Dry Eyes

Dry eye sufferers have traditionally been told that a warm, wet compress is the best treatment. Unfortunately, wet compresses are messy, cool prematurely, and offer variable levels of heat. A dry compress can provide consistent, soothing warmth with minimal mess and fuss, making it easy to get relief from your dry eye symptoms wherever you are.

If you would like to learn more about dry eyes, and how EyeGiene can help you relieve your symptoms, please visit our website and check out our eBook.