Dry eye disease is, in fact, many different diseases so it is no surprise that there are a myriad of different causes. They include;
– age. The older you are the more likely you are to have dry eyes and women are more likely than men to have dry eyes.
– hormones. Low testosterone can be a problem as can female hormones. It’s definitely worth getting a full hormone work up done. Recent studies have shown that a smear of testosterone cream along the eyelids and be an effective treatment where that hormone is very low.
– current medications. There are many medications that are thought to make dry eye worse. They include the contraceptive pill, HRT, blood pressure medications especially beta-blockers, some anti-depressants, anti-histamines, skin treatments such as Roaccutane and more.
– previous medications. There are certain medications like Roaccutane that continue to cause dry eye problems even though the medication is no longer being taken.
– current medical conditions. There are several medical conditions that are associated with dry eye. they include; Sjogrens syndrome, thyroid disorders, lupus, arthritis, scleroderma, vitamin A deficiency, vitamin D deficiency and more.
– previous treatments. Dry eye can develop following chemotherapy, and after eye surgeries or procedures such as LASIK.
– previous eye infections. Previous eye infections such as Herpes Zoster can make the eyes more prone to be dry.
– environment. Being in a dry or windy environment makes eyes dry. Also, any time when the blink rate is inhibited e.g. when staring at a computer screen for long periods of time.
So, there are numerous causes of dry eyes and often more than one cause is present. It’s very useful to work out what the underlying causes are as it determines what are the most effective treatment options and also what the likely outcome will be.