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3 Things That Can Cause Dry Eye

Your sense of sight is one that you probably don't want to live without. The eyes must maintain proper lubrication at all times in order to maximize vision and prevent irritation.

Tears, which are a mixture of water, oils, mucous, and antibodies, typically keep the eyes moist throughout the day. Unfortunately, some people experience problems with the glands around their eyes. This can result in a decrease in tear production and the onset of dry eyes.

Understanding why you might be experiencing dry eye will help you seek treatment to help combat the gritty feeling, blurred vision, and light sensitivity that often accompany dry eye.

1. Medications

Some of the medications that you take could be causing you to experience dry eye. The most common culprits are over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines. These medications are designed to provide relief against allergy symptoms, but they can take a toll on tear production as well.

An antihistamine blocks your body's response to an allergen. One common response is watery eyes. Reduced tear production caused by antihistamines can be treated with specialized lubricating eye drops.

2. Menopause

Many women experience dry eye as they go through menopause. The body goes through many changes as it ages. Menopause is a time when hormone production can drop for most women, resulting in significant changes in the way the body functions.

Changing estrogen levels can impact the function of the tear glands, reducing tear production and causing the eyes to become dry after menopause. Hormone supplements and prescription eye drops can be used to help restore proper moisture levels within the eyes after menopause.

3. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can be a contributing factor in the development of dry eye. This autoimmune form of arthritis can negatively affect tear production. The same autoantibodies that attack the joints and cause significant pain in those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis can attack the surface of the eye.

Tear production decreases as autoantibody levels increase, resulting in the development of dry eye. Rheumatoid arthritis patients can rely on anti-inflammatory eye drops to help combat dry eye.

Special daily eye inserts that slowly release the same substance used in many lubricating eye drops can also be used to find relief from dry eye associated with an autoimmune arthritis condition.

Dry eye is something that should be taken seriously. Persistent dry eye could result in poor vision, discomfort, and permanent damage to the delicate tissue of the eye. To learn more about dry eye treatments, contact a doctor in your area.