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  • Writer's pictureWillow Eye Clinic

What causes dry eyes?

Dry eyes, a prevalent complaint in eye care, can arise from various factors. Here are some common causes:


  1. Decreased Blink Rate:

  • Increased Focused Work: Prolonged activities like computer use or reading can reduce the frequency of blinking, leading to dry eyes.

  • Contact Lens Wear: Wearing contact lenses can interfere with tear distribution, causing dryness.

  • Prior Ocular Surgery: Procedures such as LASIK can affect tear production and distribution.

  1. Side Effects of Medications:

  • Medications like isotretinoin (commonly known by the brand name Accutane), antihistamines, antidepressants, and diuretics can reduce tear production or alter tear composition, leading to dry eyes.

  1. Low Humidity:

  • Environmental factors, particularly in very cold or hot weather, can lower indoor humidity levels due to heating or air conditioning. This low humidity increases tear film evaporation, causing dryness.

  1. Demodex Infestation:

  • Demodex mites, which can live in the eyelashes and sebaceous glands, can cause inflammation and debris along the lid margin, contributing to dry eyes. This condition can be diagnosed during an eye examination.

Addressing the underlying cause of dry eyes is crucial for effective management. Just like chronic conditions such as diabetes, untreated dry eyes can worsen over time, making management more challenging.

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Written by: Dr. Sandy Zhu

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