What Causes Dry Eye

 

Often a variety of causes can combine to contribute to dry eye. If any of the below applies to you and you also have dry eye symptoms, talk with your eye doctor.

Aging

Simply put, our eyes can become more susceptible to developing dry eye as we age. In order to maintain good eye health, the American Optometric Association recommends people older than 60 schedule regular eye exams.

Hormonal Changes

People who are going through menopause are at a greater risk of experiencing dry eye.

Environmental Factors

Most cities have different environmental factors that can directly affect your eyes. For example, residents of Chicago and New York City are three to four times more likely to experience dry eye symptoms than those in other cities with less air pollution. Residents in cities with higher altitude have a 13 percent higher chance of experiencing symptoms which were found to be associated with wind and low humidity.

Certain Types of Medications

Antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants and certain medications for high blood pressure and acne are risk factors for dry eye symptoms.

Gender & Ethnicity

In general, women are more at risk for dry eye due to hormonal changes that occur from pregnancy and menopause. Ethnicity also plays a role in whether or not you have dry eye. Evidence shows that Asian, Hispanic and Pacific Island populations are more prone to developing dry eye.

Contact Lens Wear

Contact lens wear is a risk factor for developing dry eye. It is important to clean and take care of your contact lenses. If you experience dry eye symptoms while wearing contact lenses, talk to your eye doctor and ask about SYSTANE® CONTACTS Rewetting Eye Drops.

Other Health Conditions

People with medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems are more likely to have symptoms of dry eye. Inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis) or surface of the eye can also cause dry eye to develop.

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Other Causes

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is a common eye condition you have probably never heard of. Simply put, it is a blockage of the glands lining your eyelids that help make the oil layer of your tears.

Tip: Lay a warm washcloth over your eyes twice a day to help loosen the oils in your glands. Or try a humidifier to reduce dryness in the air from your heater or air-conditioner.

Also talk to your eye doctor about Systane® iLux®, an in-office treatment.

Systane® Complete
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Computer Vision Syndrome

Too much screen time can lead to problems such as blurry vision, headaches and even neck pain. This condition is known as computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. The longer you scroll, the more uncomfortable your eyes can get. Contact lens wearers can experience computer vision syndrome too.

Tip: Take a break from your computer by looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

Sjögren’s Syndrome

Sjögren’s (“SHOW-grins”) Syndrome is a common autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s white blood cells mistakenly attack moisture-producing glands. This can cause inflammation and a significant reduction in the quantity and quality of the moisture these glands produce. Talk to your doctor about Sjögren’s Syndrome if you’re experiencing dry eye, dry mouth, joint pain or fatigue.

Important Information for iLux® Device:
 
The iLux® Device is used to heat and compress glands in the eyelids of adult patients with a specific type of dry eye, called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), also known as evaporative dry eye. 

 

Potential side effects may include eyelid/eye pain requiring stopping the treatment procedure, eyelid/eye irritation or inflammation, temporary reddening of the skin, and other eye symptoms (burning, stinging, tearing, itching, discharge, redness, feeling like there is something in the eye, changes in your vision, sensitivity to light). 

 

Ask your eye care professional for a complete list of safety information for the iLux® Device.