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What Causes Dry Eye?


A variety of factors can combine to contribute to Dry Eye. Some factors that can cause symptoms of dry eye are related to lifestyle, environment, surgery or certain medications, but also age related factors, like menopause. If you have any of the risk factors below and think you may have Dry Eye symptoms, talk with your doctor.


Asian mother, daughter, and grandmother smiling

Gender & Ethnicity

In general, women are more at risk of Dry Eye. This may be due to hormonal changes that occur from pregnancy, or menopause. Ethnicity may also play a role.

Older woman with white hair experiencing dry eye


As we age our tear production reduces. In order to maintain good eye health, Optometrists generally recommend scheduling an eye test every two years. This may be more frequent if you have other medical conditions.

City Skyline showing pollution


Low humidity, dry air, and windy conditions can cause Dry Eye. High pollution levels may also increase the risk of symptoms as pollutants, such as smoke, can affect the tear glands which tend to moisten the eyes.

woman in a red shirt looking at her phone

Extended Screen Time

As well as the weather, spending more time on computers, mobile phones and tablets can cause Dry Eye symptoms.

Contact lens on finger tip

Contact Lens Wear

Contact lens wear is a risk factor for developing Dry Eye. Clean your contact lenses regularly and if you experience Dry Eye symptoms from use, talk to your eye doctor.

colourful medication capsules set on a white background


Some medications, such as antihistamines, can cause Dry Eye symptoms. Consult your doctor about any medicine side effects.

close up of a woman shileding her face from the sun with her hand

Eye Surgery

Symptoms of Dry Eye may occur after eye surgery. Your eye care professional can prescribe eye drops to help with your symptoms.

Right hand rubbing the wrist of the left hand in pain

Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions can bring on symptoms of Dry Eye.


Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)


Meibomian gland dysfunction is a common eye condition that some people may not have heard of. Simply put, it is a blockage of the glands lining your eyelids that help make the oil layer of your tears.

Close up of a green eye looking up


Computer Vision Syndrome


Too much screen time can lead to eye and vision related problems like blurry vision, headaches and even neck pain. This condition is known as computer vision syndrome (or digital eye strain). When you stare at a screen you often blink less, so there may not be enough lubrication across the eyes. Contact lens wearers can experience computer vision syndrome too.

woman looking at a computer screen at night experiences digital eye strain


Sjögren's Syndrome


Sjögren's (“SHOW-grins”) Syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease which occurs when the body’s white blood cells mistakenly attack moisture producing glands, such as those that make tears and saliva. This can cause a significant reduction in the quantity of the moisture these glands produce. Talk to your doctor if you think you have Sjögren's Syndrome and are experiencing Dry Eye, dry mouth, joint pain or fatigue.

Woman with curly hair, holding glasses, touching her forehead in pain


All content on this website is for informational purposes only, always talk to your health professional regarding your eye health or medical conditions. 

1. MayoClinic - Dry Eyes. Available at:
2. Better Health Channel - Dry eye. Available at:
3. Stapleton F et al. TFOS DEWS II Epidemiology Report. The Ocular Surface 2017; 15(3): 334-368
4. Vision Center - Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Available at:
5. American Optometric Association - Computer vision syndrome. Available at:
6. Portello J et al. Blink Rate, Incomplete Blinks and Computer Vision Syndrome. Optom Vis Sci 2013; 90(5):482-487.
7. Tauste A et al. Effect of contact lens use on Computer Vision Syndrome. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2016;36(2): 112-119
8. Akpek E.K. et al, Sjögren’s Syndrome: More Than Just Dry Eye, Cornea. 2019 May; 38(5): 658–661
9. Better Health Channel - Eye Tests. Available at: