FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH DRY EYE SYNDROME
The following factors can increase your risk of dry eyes:
- Computer use: when working at a computer or using a smartphone or other portable digital device, we tend to blink our eyes less fully and less frequently, which leads to greater tear evaporation and increased risk of dry eye.
- Contact lens wear: though it can be difficult to determine the exact extent that contact lens wear contributes to dry eye problems, dry eye discomfort is a primary reason why people discontinue contact lens wear.
- Aging: dry eye syndrome can occur at any age, but it becomes increasingly more common later in life, especially after age 50.
- Menopause: post-menopausal women are at greater risk of dry eyes than men of the same age.
- Indoor environment: air conditioning, ceiling fans and forced air heating systems all can decrease indoor humidity and/or hasten tear evaporation, causing dry eye symptoms.
- Outdoor environment: arid climates and dry or windy conditions increase dry eye risks.
- Frequent flying: the air in the cabins of airplanes is extremely dry and can lead to dry eye problems especially among frequent flyers.
- Smoking: in addition to dry eyes, smoking has been linked to serious eye problems, including macular degeneration, cataracts and uveitis.
- Health conditions: certain systemic diseases such as: Diabetes, Thyroid-associated diseases, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’ssyndrome can contribute to dry eye problems.
- Medications: many prescription and nonprescription medicines including antihistamines, antidepressants, blood pressure medications and birth control pills, increase the risk of dry eye.
- Eyelid problems: incomplete closure of the eyelids when blinking or sleeping.