Why Are My Eyes So Dry?

Apr, 2024 | Dry Eye Syndrome

Does this sound anything like you? Your eyes are constantly dry and irritated, you often feel like something is stuck in your eyes but can’t find anything, and you’re reaching for eye drops all day long. If you’re nodding your head to all the above, you may be suffering from dry eye.  

Whether your symptoms happen occasionally or frequently, dealing with dry eyes can impact your daily life and even your vision. But why are your eyes so dry in the first place? In this blog post, we will explore why your eyes may be feeling dry and what you can do about it. 

Meibomian gland dysfunction 

The meibomian glands are tiny oil-producing glands located along the margins of your eyelids. When these glands become blocked or dysfunctional (a condition known as meibomian gland dysfunction), it can disrupt the composition of your tears and result in dry eye. Treatments for meibomian gland dysfunction may include warm compresses, lid hygiene techniques, or prescription medications. 

Underlying health conditions 

In some cases, underlying health conditions like autoimmune diseases (such as Sjogren’s syndrome), diabetes, thyroid disorders, or vitamin deficiencies may cause chronic dry eye symptoms. It’s important to talk to an eye care professional if you suspect that an underlying health issue may be affecting the health of your eyes. 

Excessive screen time 

Another factor that can lead to dry eye is spending too much time staring at screens. Whether it’s your computer at work, your phone, or your television at home, prolonged screen time can lead to decreased blinking and increased evaporation of tears. To help prevent this issue, make sure to take regular breaks from screens and remember to blink frequently. Try following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away to give your eyes a chance to rest. 

Lifestyle choices 

Lifestyle choices can also contribute to dry eye symptoms. Not drinking enough water or consuming too much caffeine and alcohol can lead to dehydration, which can affect the quality of your tears. Smoking is another risk factor for dry eyes as it can irritate and inflame the eyes. 

Certain medications 

Another possible cause of dry eyes is certain medications. Antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications are just a few examples of drugs that can reduce tear production and lead to dryness. If you suspect that your medication may be causing your symptoms, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider about possible alternatives. 

Hormonal changes 

Women are more likely than men to experience dry eye symptoms, especially during hormonal changes such as pregnancy, menopause, or while taking oral contraceptives. Fluctuations in hormone levels can affect tear production and quality, leading to dryness and discomfort. 

Dry eye can be uncomfortable and frustrating to deal with, but there are solutions available to help you find relief. If you’re struggling with chronic dry eye, our dry eye specialists in Tinley Park, Illinois can figure out what’s causing your symptoms and provide personalized treatment options to fit your needs. Reach out to us today to book an exam and start feeling better soon! 

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