What causes dry eye?
Dry eye can be an irritating condition, resulting in blurred vision, excessive tearing and soreness. However, once you identify the cause of your dry eye, there are a number of preventative measures and treatments available. This should stop or limit the effect of future flare-ups.
Dry eye occurs when the eye fails to produce enough tears to keep adequately lubricated. The condition is also linked to regularly being out in hot and windy weather, which can cause your tears to evaporate too quickly.
Another common reason for dry eye is problems with the meibomian glands. These oil-secreting glands are important for producing a healthy tear film as they prevent tears from evaporating. However, they can become blocked or dysfunctional.In some cases, two or more of the above issues may occur at the same time, making you much more susceptible to dry eye.
For example, a blocked meibomian gland would cause tears to evaporate more quickly, which could be exacerbated if you live in a dry climate.
Why aren't my eyes producing enough tears?
There are a number of reasons why poor tear production may be leading to your dry eye. In many cases, dry eye is a natural result of ageing or could be a sign of hormonal changes. Some autoimmune diseases make people more prone to dry eye, including Sjogren's syndrome, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. If you are taking any medications, these may also cause dry eye. Antidepressants and oral contraceptives are common causes.
There is also a chance of developing dry eye if you regularly sit in front of a computer, television or other digital screen for long hours. Blinking helps to lubricate the eye and people tend to blink less when staring at a screen.Taking regular breaks and remembering to blink will often clear up this type of dry eye without further treatment.