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9 Common Causes of Dry Eyes

causes of dry eyes

If you do not suffer from dry eyes in this modern world, you should consider yourself lucky. This is because the number of people with dry eyes is gradually increasing around the world, especially in modern cities.

But, if you are one of those whose eyes are usually dry, you should know that there can be various reasons why your eyes tend to get dry.

In this article, we are going to discover 9 most common causes of dry eyes. And, one of these causes might explain why you have this eye condition.

After all, if you could identify the underlying reason, it would be easier to solve the problem.

Before touching upon the chief causes of dry eyes, let’s briefly describe what dry eye is.

Dry Eyes

Mayo Clinic describes dry eyes as ” a common condition that occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes”.

Your eyes get dry in two circumstances. Firstly, your tear glands don’t produce sufficient amount of tear to keep the surface of your eyes moist and lubricious. Secondly, your tear glands produce enough tears but, the quality of the tears is poor. In either case, your eyes can get dry. 

As mentioned earlier, dry eyes a quite common eye condition around the world. Fortunately, in most cases, this eye condition is not serious and there are certain methods to overcome the problem.

It bears repeating, the most effective way to solve a problem is to remove the factors that cause it.

Here are the 9 most common causes of dry eyes


1- Ageing

Unavoidable changes occur in the human body with ageing. For instance, a 24-year-old’s bones are stronger than those of a person over 50. The same thing can be applied to the eyes. Eye diseases become more common as you get older.

One of the eye problems that become more common with ageing is dry eyes, as stated in the reportAccording to experts the decline in the tear production in the elderly people what makes them more susceptible to dry eyes.

To put simply, as getting older the eyes produces fewer and fewer tears and dry eyes occur as a result.

Elderly people with dry eyes can use artificial tears on a regular basis to relieve the symptoms.


2- Electronic Devices

We wouldn’t include this factor into this list namely “common causes of dry eyes”, if we wrote this article 20 to 25 years ago. However, the use of electronic devices ( laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones) has increased gradually in the last two decades and this has become one of the chief causes of dry eyes. 

While they have made our lives easier, they are also the underlying reasons for some health problems like sleep disorders and eyes problems.

Many experts point out that the constant use of electronic devices is one of the main causes of dry eyes.

They say looking at the screens of electronic devices for an extended period of time decreases the number of eye-blinking thus the water layer on the surface of the eyes evaporates quickly, which in turn causes dry eyes. 

Due to the excessive use of electronic devices, the number of people with dry eyes increases around the world, according to several reports. 


3- Medications

Almost all medicines have on their side-effects. And, sometimes the side effects can affect the eyes in many ways.

According to a well-rounded article written on the relationship between medications and dry eyes; it is possible that the drug/s you use might be the reason why your eyes keep getting dry.

Certain medications such as; decongestants, antidepressants, high blood pressure medications are known to cause dry eyes.

If you suspect a medicine you use causing dry eyes, talk to your doctor about the issue.


4- Vitamin A Deficiency

Most of us have heard about the relationship between vitamin A and eye health, or more specifically carrot and eye health. Therefore, it is not too difficult to predict that vitamin A deficiency brings about certain eye problems.

One of these eye problems that occur due to vitamin A deficiency is dry eyes. According to Healthline; Dry eyes is one of the first signs of vitamin A deficiency .


5- Laser Surgery

Laser eye surgery is operated to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism, according to NHS. However, one of the post-effects of eye laser surgery is temporary eye dryness.

Eye doctors expect patients to overcome this problem within a couple of weeks with the right treatment. Nevertheless, in rare cases some patients may have to deal with dry eyes longer than a month.

If so, the eye doctor will determine the best treatment to overcome the problem.


6- Environmental Factors

Sometimes environmental factors are the main causes of the dryness in your eyes. Environmental factors may include such as; humidity level, smoke, air pollution or weather.

Let’s cover a couple of these environmental factors that may cause dry eyes.

Low Humidity: level indoor is known to cause dry eyes. Especially, in winter months due to heater use and cold weather, the indoor air gets dry and this consequently affects the eyes.

Smoke: If you are a smoker, you should know that your eyes tend to get dry. On the other hand, you are not a smoker but you constantly expose to secondhand tobacco, then the chances you get dry eyes is also high. 

Wind: Being exposed to wind or anything that blows your face can cause tears to evaporate too quickly, thus causing dry eyes.

Air Pollution: Poor quality of air contains many harmful substances that can affect your eyes in many ways. One of the consequences of living in an environment with air pollution is dry eyes. 


7- Contact Lenses

Those who use contact lenses for a long time must be familiar with dry eyes syndrome. According to VisionDirect: if you use contact lenses you are prone to develop dry eyes.

Experts explain this phenomenon with the oxygen-obstructing effect of contact lenses. When the oxygen flow to the cornea is limited, the eyes get dry.


8- Dehydration

If you neglect drinking a sufficient amount of liquid ( mainly water) during the day, you automatically make yourself more susceptible to certain problems. One of the problems that may occur due to dehydration is dry eyes.

According to experts; when there is no enough fluid inside the body, eyes can become dry and irritated.


9- Allergies

Certain allergies can potentially cause some eye problems. Your eyes might be watery, red, irritated and also may get dry as a result of an allergy.

According to MedicalNewsToday the following are the allergies that may cause dry eyes;

♣ Perennial or seasonal allergic conjunctivitis

♦ Vernal keratoconjunctivitis

♣ Atopic keratoconjunctivitis

♦ Contact allergic conjunctivitis

♣ Giant papillary conjunctivitis



In this article, we tried to cover 9 most common causes of dry eyes. You may complain about dry eyes and the causes of the dryness in your eyes might be different than the ones we compiled in this article.

Therefore, if you suffer from dry eyes for an extended period of time, it is best for you to visit your eye doctor to determine the underlying reason and to get the most suitable treatment for the problem.