Common Causes of Dry Eyes

What are the common causes of dry eyes? Usually, the lack of adequate tears is what causes dry eyes. Tears are generally caused by a complex mix of mucus, fatty oils and water. This combination helps create the smooth eye surface and also protects your eyes from getting infected. For some individuals, dry eyes are caused by the imbalance of what composes tears. Other people do not produce tears enough to keep their eyes lubricated comfortably. Medications and eyelid problems including some factors in the external environment can cause eyes to become dry.

A Decrease in the Production of Tears Produces Dry Eyes

When you are not able to produce tears in sufficient amounts, dry eyes can be the result. There may not be enough tears produced when you have had tear gland damages, laser eye surgery, have had a medical condition, are postmenopausal or are older than fifty. Damage to tear glands from radiation or inflammation can hamper the production of tears. LASIK or other similar types of eye surgery can cause decreased productions of tears. Dry eye symptoms related to procedures such as these are generally not permanent. When there is a medical condition such as vitamin A deficiency, thyroid disorders, Sjorgren’s syndrome, scleroderma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes can cause dry eyes as well. After menopause, there is a tendency for less tears to be produced. Hormonal changes may be the cause of these. There is also a diminished production of tears as people of both sexes age. In folks older than fifty years of age, it is common to have dry eyes.

Low Quality Tears Produces Dry Eyes

Basically, there are three layers in the tear film including mucus, water and oil. When there is an issue with any layer, there may be symptoms of dry eyes.

  • Mucus- the mucus inner layer helps evenly spread tears over the eye surface. If you do not have enough mucus covering your eyes, there can be the formation of dry spots on the cornea, which is the eye’s front surface.
  • Water- The layer in the middle is usually a little bit of salt and water. Produced by the tear glands, this layer washes away irritants, foreign particles and cleans your eyes. If there are inadequate water amounts produced by your eye, the mucous and eye layers can cause a stringy discharge when these touch.
  • Oil- The tear film’s outer layer is produced by smaller glands on the eyelid edges. These contain lipids, which are fatty oil. These help the tear surface become smooth and slow down the middle watery layer’s slow evaporation. If there is not enough oil produced by your own eye’s oil glands, there is a rapid evaporation of the watery layer. This is a major cause of dry eyes. In folks with clogged meibomian glands or tear glands, dry eyes are pretty common. When there are inflamed edges of the eyelids, there is a usual dysfunction of tear glands. This is usually due to skin disorders like rosacea.