Many prescribed medications can cause or worsen existing Dry Eye Syndrome. Also many OTC medications, in particular anti-histamines and anti-allergy compounds can exacerbate Dry Eye symptoms. Environmental conditions are also frequently a factor as is climate. LASIK surgery temporarily disrupts the ocular surface/lacrimal gland unit. This condition usually returns to pre-surgical status in 3-6 months.
Diseases that may be associated with Dry Eyes include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Asthma, Thyroid disease (lower lid does not move when blinking), Lupus, and possibly Glaucoma.
Age is a contributing factor to Dry Eye as it affects 75% of people over age 65. Tear volume decreases as much as 60% by age 65 vs. age 18.
Hormonal changes for women can cause decreased tear production brought on by pregnancy, lactation, menstruation, and post menopause.
Dust, Pollen, and Tobacco – When tear production decreases, dust and pollen stay in the eye longer and are more likely to stimulate an allergic response. In addition, anything that makes an eye more irritated, including Dry Eye, will make an eye more sensitive to environmental irritants such as tobacco smoke.
Other – Too much coffee drinking, smoking, wearing contact lenses, air-conditioning or heat.