the eye institute of west florida

Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

You may be among the millions of people that continue to suffer from dry eye syndrome.

Older couple celebrating after dry eye treatmentMany people suffer from itchy, burning or watery eyes but assume there’s no way to treat the problem. A common cause of these symptoms is dry eye syndrome, a condition that affects tear production and/or drainage. Left untreated, it can even cause serious eye problems. Fortunately, dry eye is treatable.

Patients with dry eye may complain of eye-stinging, burning, itching redness, irritation, or discomfort. Vision may be blurry, causing difficulty viewing a computer, watching television, or seeing clearly while driving.

What causes Dry Eye Syndrome (DES)?

Woman suffering from Dry Eyes

  • Age – Dry eye is a part of the natural aging process. The majority of people over age 65 experience some symptoms of dry eyes.
  • Gender – Women are more likely to develop dry eyes due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives, and menopause.
  • Medications – Certain medicines, including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants, can reduce the number of tears produced in the eyes.
  • Medical Conditions – Persons with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid problems are more likely to have symptoms of dry eyes. Also, problems with inflammation of the surfaces of the eye, or the inward or outward turning of eyelids can cause dry eyes to develop.
  • Environmental Conditions – Exposure to smoke, wind, and dry climates can increase tear evaporation. Failure to blink regularly, such as when staring at a computer screen for long periods of time, can also contribute to drying of the eyes.
  • Allergies – Certain environmental allergies can cause and contribute to the inflammation on

Dry Eye Syndrome is more common than you think

  • 48% of U.S. adults experience one or more dry eye symptoms regularly.
  • 52% of women experience one or more dry eye symptoms regularly.
  • 43% of U.S. adults report experiencing difficulty reading as a result of their dry eye symptoms.
  • 69% of U.S. adults who experience one or more dry eye symptoms have not visited an eye care professional to treat symptoms.

*Source: Allergan Dry Eye Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, 2011.

Schedule your Dry Eye Evaluation today 
Call (727) 581-8706 to schedule your appointment


Meet Your Dry Eye Care Specialist

Tampa Ophthalmologist Neel R. Desai, MDNeel R. Desai, M.D. is a fellowship-trained, board-certified, ophthalmologist strictly specializing in LASIK, cataract, and corneal diseases of the eye. Dr. Desai is a top graduate of the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and completed his fellowship in cornea, cataract, and refractive surgery at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He is recognized throughout the country and internationally as one of only 100 surgeons able to perform advanced corneal transplants and another complex cataract, corneal and refractive procedures. He holds pending patents to new surgical products and advanced cornea surgical procedures of his own design. Additionally, Dr. Desai has authored many book chapters in his field of study and continues to write articles in peer review journals.

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