What Causes Dry Eye?
Causes and Risk Factors
Some common causes of dry eye include:
- Hormonal changes, including menopause
- Environmental factors
- Autoimmune diseases, including Sjögren’s Syndrome
- Certain types of medications
- Long-term contact lens wear
- LASIK and other refractive surgeries
- Reduced blinking (due to reading, or looking at a computer screen)
- Other health conditions
Often, a variety of causes can combine to contribute to dry eye.1,3
Help Prevent Dry Eye
While there is no cure for dry eye, the following are some of the lifestyle and environmental changes you can make to help prevent and relieve acute cases of dry eye:2,3
- Quit smoking and/or avoid second-hand smoke
- Reduce the amount of air that blows into your eyes (i.e., hair dryers, car a/c, etc.)
- Wear glasses on windy days and goggles while swimming
- Monitor indoor humidity and add a humidifier as needed
- Take breaks from extended activities like reading or working at a computer
- Eat a healthy diet that includes Omega-3 fatty acids
- Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dry-eyes/DS00463/DSECTION=causes Accessed March 5, 2013.
- Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dry-eyes/DS00463/DSECTION=prevention Accessed April 4, 2013.
- American Optometric Association, Dry Eye. http://aoa.org/dry-eye.xml Accessed April 4, 2013.