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Kelsey-Seybold provider Dr. Hansen
dry eyes businessman

Dry Eyes? Look No Further for Help

June 27, 2024

Dry eye is a common condition and a leading reason for eye doctor visits. If left untreated, it can lead to infections and corneal damage. Let’s dive into what causes dry eye and what you can do to prevent and treat the condition.

What Triggers Dry Eye?

Dry eyes can be a temporary nuisance due to various factors, including windy conditions, prolonged screen time, or heating systems. For some, it’s a chronic condition known as ocular surface disease – or dry eye – where tear production is inadequate or of poor quality.

Here are some of the most common causes of uncomfortably dry eyes:

  • Environmental Factors:
    • Urban dwellers exposed to high air pollution levels are more prone to dry eyes.
    • Dry climates and windy areas also increase the risk.
    • Smoking or living with a smoker can exacerbate the condition.
  • Reduced Blinking:
    • Activities such as spending extended time in front of a screen or reading can decrease blinking, which stimulates tear production.
  • Aging:
    • As we age, hormonal changes reduce tear production, especially in post-menopausal women.
  • Vision Correction:
    • Contact lenses and LASIK surgery can contribute to dry eyes. Contacts may block oxygen and absorb natural tears, while LASIK can interfere with corneal nerve signals for lubrication.
  • Medical Conditions:
    • Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjögren’s syndrome can cause dry eye.
    • Thyroid disorders, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, can suppress tear production.
    • Eye conditions, such as blepharitis, entropion, or ectropion, can put patients at risk for dry eye.
  • Medications:
    • Diuretics, antihistamines, and antidepressants, among others, can hinder tear production.


Dry eye is a common issue with various triggers, from environmental factors to medical conditions. By taking preventive measures and seeking appropriate treatment, you can find relief from this discomfort and protect your eye health.

  1. Alter Your Environment
    • Use air filters or humidifiers in polluted or dry areas.
    • Wear wraparound sunglasses in windy locations.
    • Limit exposure to fans, heaters, and hair dryers.
    • Avoid cigarette smoke; quitting smoking helps.
  2. Give Your Eyes a Break
    • If you’re in front of screens or reading for extended periods, remember to blink frequently.
    • Use reading or progressive glasses for added protection.
  3. Use Artificial Tears
    • There are several over-the-counter eyedrops available for lubrication.
    • Consult your doctor for prescription drops or lubricating gels if needed.
  4. Try Omega-3 Supplements
    • Some people find relief from omega-3 fatty acid supplements, such as fish oil, due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Consult your eye care specialist to find out if they suggest supplements.
  5. Establish an Eye Care Routine
    • Apply warm compresses to stimulate oil release from tear glands.
    • Wash your eyelids with warm water and a washcloth.
  6. Seek Help From a Specialist
    • If you have chronic dry eyes, consult your doctor for medical treatment.
    • Options may include prescription eye drops, punctal plugs to aid natural tear production, or other specialized methods.
Dr. Adesina from Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

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