Dry Eye Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Dry Eye Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Jan 01, 2021

Dry eye disease is a condition that occurs when the eyes don’t get enough lubrication from your tears. Tears can be inadequate in the eyes due to various reasons.

For instance, you can experience dry eyes if your tear glands cannot produce enough tears or if the tears produced of low quality. Poor quality tears will evaporate faster than normal tears.

With an unstable tear production, the eye surface gets inflamed and reddens with time. Dry eye syndrome is quite uncomfortable because you get a stinging or burning sensation in your eyes.

You are also likely to experience dry eye symptoms when in an airplane, when riding a bike without eye protection, chilling in a room with air-conditioning, or after looking at a computer screen for extended hours.

Dry eye treatment in Monterey, CA, may make you feel more uncomfortable. The therapy mostly involved eyedrops, and if necessary, a change of lifestyle. These measures are used to manage dry eye symptoms indefinitely.


Below are symptoms that indicate you are suffering from dry eye syndrome – it can either be temporary or prolonged.

  • Stinging or burning sensation in our eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Difficulty putting on your contact lights
  • A string of mucus inside or around the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Feeling like you have something in your eyes

Causes of Dry Eye Condition

The optometrist in Monterey, CA, records that eyes are full of tears at any given moment. The tear film consists of three layers: fatty oils, an aqueous fluid, then mucus. A disruption of any of these layers causes the eyes to dry up.

A tear function disruption can result from many things, including hormonal fluctuations, eye gland inflammation, allergies in the eyes, or an autoimmune infection. Decreased tear production and high tear evaporation are, however, the major causes of dry eyes

Decreased Tear Production

Decreased tear production results from low production of the aqueous fluid present in tears. In medicine, the condition is called keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Its main causes are:

  • Aging
  • Medical conditions such as allergic eye disease, thyroid disorders, Sjorgen’s syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Vitamin A deficiency.
  • Some medications such as birth control drugs, acne medication, antihistamines, antidepressants, decongestants, and medications for Parkinson’s Disease
  • Desensitivity of the cornea is brought about by the use of contact lenses or nerve injury sustained from a laser eye surgery.

Increased Tear Evaporation

Excessively evaporating tears occur when the meibomian glands that appear at the edge of your eyelid get clogged. The condition is more prevalent among people with skin diseases.

Common causes for high tear evaporation include:

  • Posterior Blepharitis, also called meibomian gland dysfunction
  • Blinking less often – occurs during activities like driving, when looking into a computer, or reading.
  • Eyelid problems
  • Eye allergies
  • Certain ingredients in topical eyedrops
  • Effects of gushing dry air or smoke
  • Vitamin A deficiency

Risk Factors

The factors below increase the risk of suffering from a dry eye condition.

  • Aging. Being more than 50 years of age comes with low tear production. It continues to worsen as you grow older. Dry macular degeneration is more common in people above 50.
  • Being a woman. Low tear production is also more common in women. This is mostly due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, or when they use birth control pills or at menopause.
  • Lacking vitamin A in most of your diets can cause low tear production. Insufficient tear production is also linked to inadequate omega fatty-acids in the body.
  • Using contact lenses or having undergone refractive surgery before.

Prevention and Treatment

The best preventative measure for dry eye syndrome is paying attention to activities and situations that bring about the symptoms. Finding a way to avoid these situations can be a great way to evade dry eyes.

Treatment for dry eye begins with the doctor administering a physical examination to determine the symptoms. Also, the Eye MD Monterey will need your medical history, any current medication, and ask about your occupation and daily activities.

Various tests effectively reveal the amount of tears present in the eyelid and whether each tear film is appropriately operational. They also show the rate of tear evaporation.

Treatment for dry eye focuses on keeping your eyes lubricated. However, the approach depends on the root cause of the disorder.

Medications for people suffering from chronic dry eyes are cyclosporine eye drops and Restasis. Cyclosporine has agents that increase tear production while dealing with eye-surface inflammation. This drug is not advisable for use by patients with a history of eye infection.

If the symptoms remain persistent even after constant use of drops, Steroid Drops can help with the inflammation.

Eye surgery may also be used if to shrink areas in the drainage area to conserve tears. Tear conservation can also be achieved by blocking tear ducts that drain away tears.

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