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Hello Michelle,

Thank you for your question.

Lack of adequate tear production causes dry eyes. Tears are a mixture of water, fatty oils, and mucus. Their role includes keeping the surface of the eyes smooth and clear, and to protect the eyes from infection.

An imbalance in the composition of tears is a cause of dry eyes.

If your oil glands don't produce enough oil, the watery layer evaporates too quickly, causing dry eyes.

If your eye produces inadequate amounts of water, the oil and mucous layers can touch and cause a stringy discharge.

If you don't have enough mucus to cover your eyes, dry spots can form on the front surface of the eye which is called the cornea.

People over the age of 50 commonly experience dry eyes. Tear production decreases with age.

Following menopause, many women notice less tear production. This may in part be due to the hormonal changes associated with menopause.

Wind, dry air, and task that require more concentration and less blinking, such as reading, driving, or working at a computer are environmental causes of dry eyes.

Dry eyes are associated with certain medical conditions such as lupus, are a side effect of refractive eye surgery including LASIK, and sometimes caused by certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and hormone replacement therapy.


August 27, 2014 - 9:52am


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