5 Surprising Causes Of Dry Eye Syndrome

5 Surprising Causes Of Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome is a very common condition among Albertans, with approximately 90% reporting dry eye symptoms. Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) occurs when there is a lack of lubrication or moisture in the eyes. It can cause discomfort, irritation, burning, stinging, redness, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, a feeling of grittiness in the eyes, and even vision problems if left untreated. While factors such as aging, medication side effects, and environmental factors are commonly known to cause DES, there are some surprising causes that you may not be aware of. In this blog, we will discuss 5 surprising causes of dry eye syndrome and what you can do to find relief.

The Unexpected Culprits Of Dry Eye Syndrome Symptoms

  1. Digital Devices
    In today's digital age, it is no surprise that excessive screen time can contribute to Dry Eye Syndrome. When we use digital devices such as smartphones, computers, and tablets for extended periods, we tend to blink less often, which can lead to dryness in the eyes. The blue light emitted by these devices can also disrupt our circadian rhythms and cause further eye strain, leading to DES.

    To prevent DES caused by digital devices, it is recommended to take regular breaks from screen time, blink frequently, adjust your screen settings to reduce blue light, consider blue light-blocking eyeglasses, and use lubricating eye drops as needed.
  2. Hormonal Changes
    Hormonal changes, particularly in women, can contribute to DES. Women often experience dry eyes during menopause or pregnancy when their hormone levels fluctuate. Hormonal imbalances can cause changes in tear production and quality, leading to Dry Eye Syndrome.

    To alleviate DES caused by hormonal changes, it is recommended to use artificial tears and seek medical advice if symptoms persist.
  3. Contact Lenses
    While contact lenses can provide clear vision, they can also contribute to Dry Eye Syndrome. Contact lenses can disrupt the natural tear film of the eye and cause dryness, irritation, and discomfort. Additionally, improper lens hygiene and over-wearing can increase the risk of developing DES.

    To prevent DES caused by contact lenses, it is recommended to follow proper lens hygiene guidelines, limit wearing time, and use lubricating drops as needed. Talk to your optometrist if symptoms persist.
  4. Dehydration
    Dehydration, which occurs when the body does not have enough fluids, can cause DES. When your body is dehydrated, it produces fewer tears, leading to dryness in the eyes. Additionally, certain medications, such as those used to treat high blood pressure or heart failure, can have a diuretic effect and contribute to dehydration and Dry Eye Syndrome.

    To prevent DES caused by dehydration, it is recommended to drink plenty of water and other fluids, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and discuss medication side effects with your optometrist and doctor.
  5. Vitamin Deficiencies
    Vitamin deficiencies, particularly in vitamins A and D, can contribute to Dry Eye Syndrome. These vitamins are essential for maintaining healthy eyes and tear production. Vitamin A deficiency, in particular, can cause a condition called xerophthalmia, which is characterized by dry eyes, night blindness, and even corneal damage.

    To prevent DES caused by vitamin deficiencies, it is recommended to maintain a healthy diet rich in vitamins A and D, take supplements as needed, and seek your optometrist’s advice if symptoms persist.

Find Dry Eye Relief At Specs In The City

Dry Eye Syndrome is caused by a variety of factors, some of which you may not have suspected. By being aware of these causes and taking preventive measures, you can help alleviate symptoms and maintain healthy eyes. If you are experiencing dry eyes, it is important to speak to your optometrist to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

If you are tired of dealing with the discomfort and pain of dry eyes, a dry eye exam at Specs in the City is the first step to finding relief. Once the cause of your dry eyes is determined, the Specs in the City team will determine what type of dry eye relief will work best for you. At Specs in the City, our SE Calgary optometrist clinic is a leader when it comes to treating dry eye syndrome through tailored and comprehensive approaches to dry eye syndrome care. Our team of experienced optometrists can create an in-depth care plan that will quickly address your unique needs and provide long-lasting relief. To book a dry eye exam, contact Specs in the City at 1-403-252-2020 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: What are some solutions to get dry eye relief?
A: Treatment will depend on the cause of your dry eyes, but in general we recommend using specialized prescription eye drops, artificial tears, steroid eye drops, punctal plugs, and warm compresses, although your optometrist may suggest other potential treatments during your dry eye exam.

Q: Can dry eyes lead to other eye conditions?
A: Yes, if untreated Dry Eye Syndrome puts you at risk of developing eye infections as well as damage to the surface of the eye. When you visit a Calgary Optometrist from Specs in the City, they will examine the eye to detect if any damage has occurred. To learn more, read The Hidden Danger Of Undiagnosed Dry Eye Symptoms.

Q: What should I do if I think I have dry eye syndrome?
A: For immediate at-home dry eye relief treatment, you can get eye drops, ointments, and relief masks. If you still cannot find relief, book an appointment at the Specs In The City in Calgary. Our knowledgeable team will help you figure out your diagnosis, the severity of your dry eye syndrome, and what steps to take next.

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