Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) can be caused by a multitude of different possible sources, ranging from contact lenses, dry air, aging and more. In addition, there are numerous medical conditions and ailments that can be the instigator for dry eyes. Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition, and our eye doctors agree that a comprehensive eye exam that can identify the cause is usually necessary to make sure the symptoms don’t worsen in the future. If you have dry eyes, consult our eye doctor today. These diseases and conditions are just a few of the possible causes for DES.
Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)
A condition normally afflicting those suffering other thyroid related conditions, Thyroid Eye Disease is also known as Graves’ Ophthalmopathy. It can cause numerous symptoms such as severe eye pain, blurred vision, bulging eyes and blindness. Dry eyes are, however, one of the first symptoms. Fortunately, the disease is treatable, and some moderate cases have even been known to enter remission in less than a year. Nonetheless, treatment is still recommended. Cases of TED that are severe require immediate surgery to prevent total loss of sight. It is estimated that TED develops in .05% of males and 3% of females around the world. Smoking tobacco is one of the highest risk factors surrounding the disease, and one should quit smoking to lessen the risk.
High amounts of cholesterol in the blood can prevent the eyes from getting enough lubrication by clogging the meibomian glands. This causes the eyes to dry, which in turn causes itchiness and irritation. A South Korean study concluded this after observing a correlation between higher cholesterol levels and dry eye syndrome. Fortunately, treatment for this is relatively simple, as dietary and lifestyle changes can lower cholesterol and alleviate symptoms.
Vitamin A Deficiency remains the most common cause of childhood blindness in the world, and the severity and frequency of this condition has made it a global concern for years. Though much rarer in the USA than in developing countries, one out of every three adult Americans suffer a vitamin deficiency of some kind, and Vitamin A Deficiencies are no exception. Dry eyes are just one of the many symptoms that result from this, but dietary changes, food supplements and multivitamins can successfully treat it. Nonetheless, a visit to your optometrist is still recommended.
Rheumatoid Arthritis causes severe pain, stiffness, and even causes Dry Eye Syndrome. DES with rheumatoid arthritis is especially severe and it can cause other, more serious conditions such as keratitis or blindness. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic condition, and effects well over 1.3 million Americans, both children and adults. Treatment for DES caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis must be done as soon as possible, to prevent the worsening of symptoms. Read more about Dry Eyes V. Red Eyes.