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 Dry Eyes Causes

Dry Eyes Causes

The causes of dry eyes vary widely, depending on your age, gender, occupation, medical history and diet. Understanding the underlying causes allows effective treatments to be tailored to your eyes. Common causes include:


Changes in oestrogen levels

  
Menopause and pregnancy can cause thickening of the oils in the meibomian glands and cause them to block.

Prolonged computer use

Poor blinking and staring at screens and in particular digital devices like iPhones.  This allows the air and especially in air-conditioning to dehydrate the ocular surface.

 
  • Environmental – dry climates, pollution, wind, air conditioning
  • Aging – often causes the eyelids to sag away from the eyeball, so the important oils from the meibomian glands can’t enter the tear film
  • Auto-immune disease (can effect aqueous tear production) 
  • Certain medications can cause meibomian glands to block or aqueous tear production to be reduced (or both)
  • Blepharitis (inflamed, crusted eyelids) impairs meibomian gland function
  • Lagophthalmos
  • Contact lens wear (interferes with tear film) 
  • Blocked meibomian glands are one of the most frequent causes of dry eye

Dry eye is often caused by a combination of these factors, rather than a single factor. Causes vary with age and gender. Plummeting oestrogen levels tend to be the culprit in post-menopausal woman whereas prolonged computer use is often at the core of dry eye in teenagers and young adults.  
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