Causes of Dry Eye

The most common causes, or exacerbating factors, of dry eye are:

  • The maturation process: tear production normally decreases with age.
  • Contact lens wear.
  • Exposure to heat and air conditioning.
  • Environmental: wind, cold, smoke, dry weather, high altitude, etc.
  • Environmental allergies: such as hay fever, pollen, dust, mold, animals, etc.
  • Medications: such as antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, blood pressure medications, etc.
  • Medical conditions such as rosacea, diabetes, collagen vascular, rheumatologic and autoimmune diseases, etc.
  • Hormonal changes.
  • The number of hours/day you watch television, read (i.e., your cell phone and other handheld devices, computers, documents, magazines, newspapers, books, etc.), drive (operate a motor vehicle).
  • History of Accutane use, chemotherapy, radiation, etc.
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), blepharitis, ocular rosacea, history of styes and/or chalazia
  • Food allergies