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7 Reasons Why You Have Dry Eye

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Close up of man with red eye due to dry eyes

You’ve got that uncomfortable feeling in your eyes and can sense that something’s not quite right.

You may be suffering from dry eye

Anything to do with your eyes is always a sensitive topic. Even if you’re doing everything right and visiting your optometrist consistently, dry eye can sometimes still affect you. 

So, you may know that you have dry eye, but what exactly is dry eye? And why do you have it? Let’s explore 7 reasons why you have dry eyes.

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a common condition that happens when your tears cannot provide enough lubrication for your eyes. When your eyes dry out, you can feel a great deal of discomfort. 

The discomfort you feel will come in the form of:

  • Burning
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Excessive watering
  • Stringy mucus
  • Blurry vision
  • Foreign body sensation

If these symptoms persist, it’s a great idea to contact your optometrist to explore more long-term solutions

Dry eye can cause a great deal of discomfort, and some at-home treatments can help for temporary relief.

These treatments include:

  • Adding moisture to the air
  • Wearing protective eyewear
  • Using eye drops
  • Giving your eyes breaks from long tasks

It’s always a good idea to start treating dry eyes right away and monitoring the symptoms, so you know what course of action to take.

Now that you know what dry eye is, what are some reasons for dry eye? Let’s take a look at 7 reasons dry eye syndrome could occur.

7 Reasons for Dry Eye

There can be several reasons for dry eyes—the discomfort you feel may appear rapidly or over time.

Let’s explore some of those reasons. 

Aging

Anyone can have dry eyes, but it does become more common the older you get.

With aging, dry eye prevention is essential. You can use eye drops to provide extra lubrication and prevent soreness and dryness. 

Medication

Tears are composed of oil, water, and mucus. Certain medications can reduce mucus production and contribute to dry eye. 

If your medication is causing you to experience dry eye symptoms, talking to your optometrist is the best course of action to figure out a solution. 

Using eye drops is also a viable option to find relief.

Computer Usage

Using your computer throughout the day is inevitable for some people, especially if you use it for work. Staring at a screen for large chunks of your day contributes to eye strain and headaches. 

It’s no surprise that excessive computer use can contribute to dry eyes. Going long periods without blinking can dry out your eyes. So frequent breaks and remembering to blink can do wonders. 

Laser Surgery

Getting laser eye surgery to correct your vision is a popular option but can also dry out your eyes. This type of dry eye is usually temporary and resolves itself a few weeks after the procedure. 

If the issue persists, getting in touch with your optometrist to get a detailed check-up can save you some grief.

Women experiencing dry eye due to cold climate during winter season

Cold Climates & Wind Exposure

If you’ve been outside in negative temperatures or a snowstorm, you know how rough that can be on your eyes.

The cold climate and high winds can cause your tears to evaporate quickly, leaving your eyes dried out. Using protective glasses or frequent eye drops can help alleviate the discomfort and keep your eyes lubricated.

Allergies

Having allergies can cause significant discomfort and potentially be dangerous if not addressed. When it comes to your eyes, allergies can make your eyes appear itchy, red, and watery. 

If your dry eye issues appear with your allergies, consult your optometrist for guidance.

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses require consistent care and frequent check-ups. You have to be careful with removing and inserting your lenses. Contact lenses can restrict oxygen access to the cornea if lenses are worn past their required replacement schedule or slept in.

Monitoring the effect of contact lenses on your eyes is essential. If you find your eyes are drying out easily, visiting your optometrist can help figure out the discomfort you’re feeling.

Dry eyes can appear for various reasons—it’s important to monitor any symptoms you may be feeling and practice prevention.

The Dry Eye Conundrum

Dry eye disease is a constant battle for a lot of people worldwide. There’s no exact method of eradicating dry eyes for good, but there are prevention and management methods. Knowing some of the reasons why you may have gotten dry eye is a great first step.

Book an appointment with your optometrist today for more information.

Written by Dr. Asim Prasad

Dr. Asim Prasad is a native Calgarian who earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Vision Science and Doctor of Optometry degree from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 2008. Before becoming an optometrist, Dr. Prasad earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Alberta. After working in the environmental science industry for a short time, Dr. Prasad decided to pursue his true passion: optometry.
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