What is Dry Eyes (Blepharitis) and What Causes It?

What Is Dry Eyes (Blepharitis)?

Dry Eyes or Blepharitis, otherwise known as Dry Eye Syndrome, is caused by inflamed eyelids. This condition is usually more irritating than serious. Symptoms can include red and sore eyelids, discharge from the eyes, or finding that the eyelids stick together, especially in the morning. Tiny flakes can develop on the eyelids, and crusts can also grow on the bottom eyelashes.

What Causes Dry Eyes (Blepharitis)?

Around 15% of the population will experience dry eyes to one extent or another. There are thought to be numerous causes of dry eyes, which can include wearing contact lenses, smoking, exposure to excessive heat, blood pressure medications, birth control pills, antidepressants, antibiotics, antihistamines, diuretics, and appetite suppressants, amongst others.

Computer users can find themselves blinking less frequently, which can increase dry eyes and promote fatigue and eyestrain. LASIK Surgery can also cause dry eyes as the superficial nerve fibers within the cornea become severed during surgery; this has an impact on and affects aqueous tear production. The blink rate can then slow to a point that the tear film breaks up before the next blink can happen.

Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Thyroid Disease, Asthma, Glaucoma, and Lupus can all affect the eyes, causing dry eye syndrome; hormonal changes and age can also have an impact.

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