Etiology of Dry Eye

What is Dry Eye?

Patients with "dry eye": often complain of symptoms

Anatomy of the Tear Film

Causes of Dry Eye

Many different things can cause dry eye syndrome. The normal aging of tear glands, as well as specific diseases and disorders, might cause changes in the amount and condition of tears produced.

    1. Medications
      • decongestants
      • antihistamines
      • diuretics
      • beta-blockers
      • sleeping pills
      • pain-relievers
      • alcohol
    2. Trauma to lacrimal gland

    3. Neuroparalytic hypo secretion

    4. Inflammation of the lacrimal gland due to mumps, sarcoid

    5. Contact Lens Wear

    6. Milkulcz's syndrome

    7. Smoking

    8. Eye strain due to prolonged computer use

    9. Wearing contact lenses for long periods of time

  2. Sjögren's syndrome

    • Sjögren's syndrome is an immune system disorder which is characterized by inflammation and dryness of the mouth, eyes, and other mucous membranes. Tear production might be limited as the the lacrimal gland is affected. (Primary SS, young middle aged women, severe aqueous tear deficiency, HLA B8 association in 90% of patients
  3. Excessive evaporation of tears can also cause dry eye syndrome. Such evaporation might be caused by "meibomitis," which results from infection and inflammation of the meibomian glands in the eyelids. Patients with thyroid disease (Thyroid or Grave's disease results from overative thyroid which affects the eyes, might cause proptosis, loss of vision and dry eye. Please see the Thryoid page for more details), might also experience dry eye syndrome caused by excessive evaporation.

  4. Decreased sensitivity of the cornea can also lead to insufficient production of tears.

  5. Hormonal changes can also affect secretions from the tear glands.

What You Can Do to Prevent or Minimize Dry Eye Symptoms