What Are the Causes of Dry Eyes?

Whether your eyes are burning after a long day of staring at a computer screen or sensitive after a sunny afternoon of cycling, these symptoms of dry eyes are uncomfortable and often annoying.

In general, there are three main reasons why you may be experiencing dry eyes:

  1. Your eyes may not be producing enough normal tears.
    The easiest explanation is that your body simply isn’t producing enough normal tears to keep your eyes moist. This condition, called aqueous deficient dry eyes, happens when the lacrimal glands do not produce enough tears to keep the surface of your eyes moist or healthy. This might occur due to age, certain medications, a medical condition or even screen usage.
  2. Your tears may be evaporating off your eyes too quickly.
    Tears might evaporate too quickly due to the quality of the tears or that of the environment, such as a heated or air conditioned environment. It can also be caused by your lacrimal glands not working properly, producing tears that do not contain enough of the watery component.
  3. There may be changes in the balance of your tears.
    Tears are a complicated mixture of ingredients that keeps your eyes moist, lubricated and clean. If the balance of these ingredients changes, your tears won’t work like they’re supposed to and you may experience dry eyes. This can happen if you have a blocked gland or certain skin disorders like rosacea.

What Are Common Reasons for Dry Eyes?

You may be more likely to suffer from dry eyes if any of the following apply:

  1. Age: People over 50 are more likely to suffer from dry eyes, as tear production slows down and tear quality changes.
  2. Medications: If you’re taking certain medications like antihistamines (allergy medication), nasal decongestants, antidepressants or birth control
  3. Hormonal changes: Low level of androgens or high level of estrogen
  4. Medical conditions: Medical conditions such as diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, seasonal allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
  5. Environmental conditions: Heated or air conditioned environments, wind, low humidity, air travel or arid conditions like a hot, sunny summer day
  6. Eye conditions, injuries and vision correction: Long-term contact lens wear, blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction, or LASIK surgery
  7. Occupational reasons: Screen usage, causing infrequent blinking due to staring at a screen

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes?

The symptoms of dry eyes can be different in every person. You may have different symptoms at different times, but in general you may experience:

  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Eye redness
  • Sandy or scratchy sensation in your eyes — you may feel like you have something caught in your eyes
  • Tired eyes or blurry vision
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery or gummy eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses

No matter what the cause, if the symptoms of dry eyes are bothering you and affecting your quality of life, then you should do something about it. hydraSense® Eye Drops can provide you with the symptom relief you are looking for.