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Causes Of Dry Eye



There are many causes of dry eyes. Aging is certainly a factor; as people age, they secrete fewer tears, leading to dryness. Hormones probably play a role, as dry eyes are also more common in women than men, especially post-menopausal women. Systemic diseases, like Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Riley-Day syndrome, and diseases of the eye that affect the eyelids, the eye's surface or the cornea can also cause or aggravate dry eyes. Similarly, conditions which affect the eye's ability to close or to blink completely also dry out the surface of the eye.

Antihistamines, tranquilizers, blood pressure, heart medications, and other types of drugs can lead to dry eyes. Even the topical artificial teardrops used to treat dry eyes can actually aggravate the condition, due to the detergent-like preservatives they contain.

Some patients experience dryness after refractive surgery. There is a decrease in tear production following LASIK and Phototherapeutic Refractive Surgery that can persist for 3-6 months. This can be significant enough that it requires frequent administration of artificial tear substitutes.

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