Causes

View list of causes.

People with severe cases of Dry Eye often wonder, “why did this happen to me?” They feel helpless, particularly when doctors do not pinpoint a cause or effectively diagnose and treat the disease. They are often willing to try virtually anything, hoping that some new treatment will finally offer them relief. The issue with this type of “I’ll try anything” approach is that the treatment applied may not be for the condition, or conditions, they have. As a result, the treatment will not be effective and the person will begin to lose hope.

At Not A Dry Eye, we believe that the first defense is an accurate diagnosis performed by a skilled professional who is well versed in the symptoms and causes of Dry Eye. Self diagnosis can work to a point, but when the cause of the symptom is microscopic (e.g.: demodex mites, bacterial infections), or invisible to the naked eye (conjunctivochalasis), the only way to achieve an accurate and meaningful diagnosis is through a thorough ophthalmic examination.

It is also important to understand that many of the causes of Dry Eye may coexist and, as such, will have to be treated in turn; e.g.: aqueous deficiency and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Treating one condition only means that eye comfort will be impermanent at best.

Foremost in understanding Dry Eye Syndrome is understanding the interrelated nature of the various co-morbidities that fall under the umbrella Dry Eye. It is best described in this article that introduces the concept of the vicious cycle of cause and effect experienced by many Dry Eye sufferers.

A new approach for better comprehension of diseases of the ocular surface
Baudouin C.
Journal français d’ophtalmologie
2007 Mar;30(3):239-46.

View the full report


List of Causes

Accutane (Isotretinoin)
ACE Inhibitors
Age
Allergies
Androgen Hormone Changes
Antidepressants
Antihistamines
Anxiety/Panic Medications
Aqueous Tear Deficiency
Birth Control Pills
Chemotherapy Drugs
Cold Climates
Computer Vision Syndrome
Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivochalasis
Contact Lenses
Decongestants
Delayed Tear Clearance
Demodex Mites
Desensitized Corneas
Diabetes
Diet with a Poor Omega 3 to Omega 6 Ratio
Diuretics
Dry Air or Wind
Ectropion
Entropion
Excessive Friction on Eye Lids During a Blink
Fibromyalgia
Fibrotic Tissue Blocks the Meibomian Glands (Periductal Fibrosis)
Graves’ Disease, Hyperthyroidism
Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism
Hormones
Hypothyroidism
Ice or Cold Packs Applied to the Eye Lids
Infections: Bacterial, Fungal, Viral
Inflammation
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Infrequent Blinking
Lagophthalmos
LASIK, LASEK, PRK
Lid Massage
Lupus
Meibomian Gland Dropout and Atrophy
Meibum Does not Flow to Tear Film
Menopause
Micronutrient Deficiencies
Misdirected Lashes
Ocular Herpes
Opiates
Overuse of Lubricating Eye Drops
Perimenopause
Poor Blinking
Poor Diet, Nutrition
Pregnancy
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rosacea
Sensitivities to Foods and Other Compounds
Sjögren’s Syndrome
Sleeping Pills
Sluggish Metabolism
Smoking
Stroke
Superior Limbic Keratoconjunctivitis (SLK)
Testosterone, Too Little or Too Much
Thick or Pasty Meibum
Vitamin A Deficiency

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