Six Causes of Dry Eye

Dry Eye Syndrome, or simply “dry eye”, is a common cause of eye irritation. It occurs when tear glands can’t produce enough tears or produce poor quality tears. Dry eyes can be uncomfortable, causing itching and burning. It may also affect a person’s vision.

Dry Eyes often make it harder to perform daily activities, for example, using a computer or reading over a longer period.

The infographic below shows the six most common causes of dry eye:

  • 1. Ageing

    Dry Eyes are part of the natural ageing process. As we get older, the composition of our tear film alters making our tears less adherent to the surface of the eye causing dryness.

  • 2. Medication

    Many drugs (e.g. blood pressure drugs, HRT, anti-histamines and anti-depressants) can cause dry eyes by reducing the mucus and water content of the tears.

  • 3. Other Medical Conditions

    Diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disease are examples of conditions which reduce tear production.

  • 4. Fat Gland Dysfunction

    Fat glands in our eyelids produce the top layer of our tear film. If these are blocked, our tears can evaporate more quickly with a thinner fat layer of the tear.

  • 5. Staring At Screens

    This leads to a reduced rate of blinking and an inefficient moistening action on the surface at the cornea leading to dryness.

  • 6. Environment

    Windy conditions, air conditions in offices, central heating can all make your tear film dry out more quickly.