Dry Eyes Causes and Treatments Image

Dry Eyes: Causes and Treatments

When do you usually cry? Is it when you’re sad or happy? Do you sometimes shed a few tears when watching a movie or reading a book? Some people cry when they’re angry. Many strong emotions can bring on tears. People often cry when they are in pain. Unfortunately, sometimes people struggle with not being able to produce enough tears. This can be incredibly frustrating and downright painful. When the eyes don’t get enough lubrication from tears, it’s called dry eye syndrome.

Thank Goodness for Tears

Dry Eyes Causes and Treatments ImageShedding tears is a necessary process of a healthy eye. Tears protect, lubricate, clean, and nourish our eyes. However, not all tears are equal. Some lubricate, some cleanse, and some remove excess hormones from our bodies. Amazingly, our eyes seem to know which kind of tears are needed at any given time.

Dry eye syndrome occurs when there are problems with our tear ducts. The ducts that drain the excess tears from our eyes may drain too much too quickly. Or, there could be problems with the tear duct itself that prevents the production of the right kind of tears. When our eyes become too dry it causes damage to the outer covering of the eyes. Tears carry oxygen and nutrients to the cornea and carry away waste products of the eye.

Did You Know that Not All Tears are the Same?

There are three main types of tears:

  1. Basal tears: These surprisingly complex tears lubricate the eye and remove dust. Basal tears are made up of a variety of substances such as lipids, sodium, glucose, potassium and an enzyme named lysozyme which is also found in saliva. Some of these substances are responsible for fighting against bacterial infection in the eye.
  2. Reflex tears: We produce reflex tears when foreign particles enter the eye. Foreign particles could be dirt, dust, gases, or harmful liquids. These tears protect the eye by flushing out foreign materials.
  3. Emotional tears: As the name implies, we produce these tears when we feel pain, stress, or other strong feelings. These tears are made up of different chemicals from other tears and may be our bodies’ way of removing excess hormones.

While crocodile tears are not real tears, there is a condition called Crocodile Tear Syndrome. People recovering from Bell’s palsy may suffer from this. It results from incorrect or incomplete regeneration of the facial nerve that controls the salivary and tear glands. People suffering from this will quite often cry when eating.

Sometimes our tear ducts drain the needed basal tears too quickly so that they do not have time to fully lubricate the eyes.

Dry Eye Syndrome Problems

People suffering from keratitis sicca or “dry eye” know how important the right kind of tears can be. Dry eye causes burning, itching, stinging, light sensitivity, or blurred vision. The wrong kind of tears can actually make these symptoms worse.

Your eyes may feel gritty or scratchy. Strangely enough, this condition may cause reflex tears which are no help at all because they do not contain the lubricants that the eye needs. This can confuse people because their eyes are producing tears. They do not even consider that they may be suffering from dry eyes.

One of the main causes of dry eye syndrome is the decrease in tear production as we age. However, it can also be caused by reactions to some medications, like antihistamines.

Environmental factors such as wind or smoke can also cause dry eye. Dry eye syndrome has been associated with contact lenses and LASIK surgery – one more good reason to try the Ocu-Plus Formula. In fact, one of the most often reported side effects of LASIK surgery is dry eye syndrome.

Another contributing factor can be air conditioners and heating systems. These can dry the air in your home or office. Try setting your air conditioner to a slightly warmer setting and adding a humidifier if you notice signs of eye irritation. Make sure that the filters are changed regularly so that dust and allergens are effectively removed from the air.

Treatment for Dry Eyes

Currently, there are three main treatments for dry eye:

  • A prescription drug called Restasis: This drug is supposed to help your eyes produce the basal tears that are needed for lubrication. It may take some time to be effective but it has proven to be a successful treatment for some people.
  • Artificial tears: There are many types of eye drops sold over the counter that can help with dry eye syndrome. You may have to try several before you find one that works well for you. If one type or brand of eye drop doesn’t work for you, keep trying others until you find the one that does.
  • Insertion of plugs in the tear duct to block drainage: These temporary plugs help to see blocking the drainage port makes a difference. If they do help, there are permanent plugs that can be inserted. However, even with the permanent plugs, there is a chance that they may fall out. You may have to have them reinserted if this happens.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Evidence shows that some vitamins may be linked to helping alleviate dry eye. Similarly, hydration is of the utmost importance when it comes to treating dry eye.

If you think that you could be suffering from dry eye syndrome talk to your eye doctor.

Allergies Can Mimic Dry Eye Symptoms

If you suffer from allergies, it is possible that you will experience some of the same symptoms that a person suffering from dry eye syndrome experiences. Allergies often cause red, sore eyes and they can make your eyes feel scratchy. Allergy medications often contain antihistamines which can actually be one cause of dry eyes.

If you have any suspicion that you may be developing dry eye syndrome, contact your eye doctor immediately. Untreated, dry eye syndrome can damage the eyes or even cause vision loss. You don’t have to allow your eyes to hurt and feel irritated; your eye doctor can help.

And, if you think that you cry too much, be thankful. There’s no need to be embarrassed by your tears, just be glad that they’re working!

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Join or Start the Discussion

  1. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Chris says:

    If you’re going to talk about dry eyes, you need to include primary Sjogren’s disease because it attacks the lacrimal and mybomian glands. I say primary because a person with secondary Sjogren’s usually has fewer or less intense manifestation of the Sjogren’s.

  2. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Trisita says:

    I cry a lot..so now I have the minus power.what is the treatment for this?

  3. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Maria says:

    We are interested in buy your product plese let me know how to order them, the list of products and price of them
    thank you Maria

  4. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Joe Lucier says:

    I have had long time eye dryness which also includes profuse tearing when in a windy or smoky situation. I have recently been adding hot compresses since i was told the tear ducts are not open enough. From you info above, due to age, I am probably lacking basal tear lubrication. Thanks for the insight. The hot compresses help and a homeopathic, similase helps.

  5. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Linda Nelson says:

    Read the comment about dry eyes and am interested in trying evening primrose capsules but where do I get them? I am already on the Occu-Plus vitiamins and can you take both?

    • Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Tyler Sorensen says:

      Hi Linda,

      I would recommend talking to your doctor to see if you can take the Primrose Capsules with the Ocu-Plus Formula. Just bring both bottles in and see what he/she recommends.

  6. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Wendy Wiener says:

    I had been doing eye exercises for months and they made my eyes feel better, but no matter how faithfully I did the exercises, my vision didn’t improve. Recently I went to an ophthalmologist who said I have severe dry-eye. He put plugs in and prescribed restasis. Now, generally I treat everything with natural remedies, but this not seeing thing is driving me crazy, so I decided to give it a try. My question is: are these two treatments and doing the eye exercises compatible or should I stop the exercises for the two months I’m taking the drops and trying the plugs? It was just so discouraging getting no results with the exercises.

  7. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen aira says:

    hi Tyler,
    i think i`am having crocodile tears syndrome.. it needs a treatment or just let the tears flow while eating??
    and my eyes always keep blinking all the time. What is the factors of this happen??

  8. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Margaret says:

    I am new to this website but am going to check it all out. Just want to tell Jeane that I can sympathize with her dry eye problem and may try the evening primrose capsules. You see about 12 years ago I had a lump removed from my neck that the doctor said was my sylvia gland. I now have dry mouth very, very, bad even though the doctor told me I would hardly notice the difference. About four years ago I developed dry eye and have been taking Restasis for all that time and there has been no improvement. They’ve put plugs in that just fall out and now say unless I want an operation the only other thing is acupuncture! Is there any help for me?

  9. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Jeane says:

    I’ve had dry eyes for a long time and my eyes were very painful. I had to use drops several time a day and wear thick sunglasses or stay indoors when the sun was bright. However, I’ve now found that evening primrose capsules have helped greatly. I’ve given up on medical drops and only need sunglasses on very sunny days

  10. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen ann says:

    Thanks for the information Mr. Sorensen. Until now I’m still following your site to improve my eyesight. It’s been 11 years since I’ve suffered from nearsightedness and I’m still hoping that my eyesight will be cured. Can you help me for this matter?

  11. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen figgylady says:

    Very good evening Tyler. I do respect and appreciate your information about food nutritional value. Thanks for all the efforts you make to aid and help people to get over their eye problems. My best regards!

  12. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen figgylady says:

    Though i know most of the information about eye health and the most important vitamins and minerals that do help for a better eye health, I do admire your caring attitudes to help people improve their eyes vision and regain their eye health. Mr Tyler, why didn’t you reply my comment as u did for others? Shall i ask you a question? How many carrots do u have a week? A part from vitamins and all, is there any exercise which help the eye muscles? I would be so grateful if you reply.

  13. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Noor says:

    Dear Mr. Sorensen,

    Thank you very much for your kind advice.

  14. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen marly says:

    Soon i will purchase your product too… now I’m doing preventions. I stayed long in computer but i do break. and I’m fond of reading books too…hope you will send me more tips, Mr. Sorensen. Is it bad for my eyes if I sleep only 4 to 5 hours? And I’m reading while in lay down position?

    • Hi Marly,

      Sleep is essential for your body and overall eye health. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. As far as reading, you always want good posture. Good lighting is the key so you don’t have to strain your eyes to see the words. Be sure you are in a well lit area while you read.

      To your vision — for life,

  15. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Samantha says:

    oh thank you so much for the great information.. so good to hear that tears can help us too.. this tips can give us knowledge hoe to take care our precious eyes..thank you again and more power!

  16. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Noor says:

    Dear Tyler

    It is a wonderful series of articles. It really helped me eliminating the harmful effects of Computer Vision Syndrome. However, I have experienced eye floaters for eleven years. I have come to know that Antioxidant supplements and vitamins prevent the eye from further retinal degeneration. Is that true? If yes, then what quantity of Vitamins should I take in as a daily supplement?

  17. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Aastha says:

    I appreciate you for providing such a practical series of information regarding eye sight. It’s truly wonderful. Keep it up!

  18. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen JPJ says:

    Thank you Mr Sorensen. Since taking your expert advice, I have been drinking more water. My eyes are not dry now and they feel better. Also taking breaks from the computer screen is doing wonders as well. In the future I will be purchasing your product. Looking forward to the next email in your life changing series.

  19. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Sadiqtamanna says:

    I use Latanoprost to control “humor”. I think ‘humor’ is different from the tears explained in this article. I would like to receive more such informative and useful articles

  20. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Mari says:

    What about onions? Isn’t chopping onions supposed to be healthy for the eyes since the sulfur that is release causes you to get tears????

  21. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Mary says:

    May our Heavenly Father Bless & keep you now & forever in the palm of His Hand.

  22. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Bill says:

    Again, we sincerely appreciate your taking your time to encourage all of us about taking care of one of the greatest gifts to man… our vision. You are right on target, and we are so glad you “”hit us” with this good info. Thanks again, Bill

  23. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen figgylady says:

    This is great information about eye health and eye vision. I have benefited greatly from this information. I’m trying to apply everything to improve my vision. Thanx.

  24. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Betty says:

    It is very important to keep your eyes moist. I have very dry eyes and use restases every day. A few years ago I noticed I wasn’t seeing out of my left eye and was diagnosed with Salsmans Nodules in both eyes. Thankfully a Dr. scraped my eyes and I now see great. According to the Dr. I should keep my eyes moist every day by using artificial tear drops in my eyes quite a few times during the day because this afflication can come back in 5 years. I also had plugs put in my eyes and that helped but unfortunately they have fallen out and I am going to have them inserted again.

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About the Author

Avatar for Tyler Sorensen

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics (just like his brother) with the dream of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he joined Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent nearly two decades studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.


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