What Causes Dry Eye? 5 Common Reasons (And What to Do About Them)

It’s hard to focus at work or relax at home when you’re dealing with signs and symptoms of dry eye. These signs and symptoms—including eye itchiness, burning, grittiness, watery discharge, blurry vision, and light sensitivity—can occur for many reasons. Understanding your main cause is key for finding relief.Keep reading to learn about five common causes of dry eyes and how our optometrist in Modesto, CA can help.

5 Common Causes of Dry Eye

Dry eyes occur when a person lacks sufficient quality and/or quantity of tears to maintain an adequate tear film, a protective and moisturizing barrier. This can occur due to:

  1. Advancing age—up to 30 percent of older people experience dry eyes because of age-related changes in tear production as well as the presence of other risk factors
  2. Hormonal changes, such as those experienced by women undergoing pregnancy or menopause
  3. Side effects of certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, oral contraceptives, and antidepressants
  4. Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjögren’s Syndrome, as well as other conditions like diabetes and Meibomian gland dysfunction, a condition that causes tears to evaporate too quickly due to lack of oil secreted into the tears
  5. Environmental factors, including allergens (e.g., pollen, pet dander), irritants (e.g., smoke, cosmetics, perfumes), cold weather, long-term use of contact lenses, and excessive use of a computer or smartphone (did you know you tend to blink less when staring at a screen?)

Modesto optometrist Dr. Brandie Medina uses advanced diagnostic techniques to identify the causes of your dry eyes. She’ll then work with you to create an effective treatment plan, which may include medicated eye drops, updated prescription eyewear, patient education, and peri-operative support if surgery is indicated.

Frustrated by Dry Eye Symptoms?

Schedule an eye exam at Advanced Optometric Services in Modesto, CA today by calling (209) 521-7771. https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/dry-eye5–30% of the general elderly population, and affects women more commonly than men