Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Causes for Dry Eyes in the Elderly

 Older adults often suffer from dry eyes which is a common problem but which can also be chronic. Unfortunately, along with many other symptoms, dry eyes are part of the ageing process. People over the age of 65 will experience some form of dry eyes. Although dry eye symptoms are more prevalent in this age group, anyone over the age of 50 can experience these symptoms. Dry eyes occur when your natural tears lose the ability to keep your eyes hydrated.


Many medications can reduce the amount of tears the eye produces. So if you are taking medication for blood pressure, antihistamines or antidepressants, these can all produce dry eye symptoms. Check with your medical practitioner to find out whether your dry eyes are caused by any prescribed medications. Do not disregard natural therapies; always list anything you are taking.

Environmental conditions

Tear evaporation is caused by exposure to harsh elements such as wind, smoke and arid temperatures. Being subjected to these conditions will result in dry eye symptoms. Pollution and air conditioning are other factors that can result in dry eyes, so be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Hormonal changes

Women going through the symptoms of menopause and other hormonal changes will experience dry eyes. Nutritional and dietary supplements may help decrease dry eye symptoms.

Eyeglasses and contact lenses

If you began computer lessons later in life, be aware that staring at a computer screen can contribute to dry eye symptoms. Computer work causes you to blink less for long periods of time, which in turn causes dry eyes. Make sure you have been prescribed the correct eyeglasses or contact lenses as wearing glasses not suitable for you personally can cause a decrease in tear production. People can over time develop an intolerance to contact lenses. There are specially prescribed wraparound glasses available that can help prevent the elements drying out your eyes. Make sure when outdoors your eyes are always protected by sunglasses.

Medical Conditions

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, thyroid problems, autoimmune symptoms, Parkinson’s disease or arthritis, you are more likely to suffer from dry eyes. Dry eyes can also be the result of other eye problems you may have. If you suffer from itchy burning dry eyes these can also be symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. If you have been experiencing redness, irritation or watery eyes, may assist you with any questions you may have. Other contributing factors to take into account as causes for dry eyes are watching too much television, reading for long periods or driving. All these activities will cause you to blink less which will lead to dry eyes. It is important, no matter what your age group, to keep yourself well hydrated at all times. If you do suffer from dry eyes, it is important that you have a thorough eye examination. Your specialist will be able to make an external examination of your eye as well as measure the quantity of your tears.


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