You know the annoying feeling, but do you know what causes dry eyes? In this post, we’ll talk about dry eye causes and treatments, when to see the doctor and whether natural treatments work.

Causes of dry eyes

Dry eye causes include:

  • Staring at a computer, smartphone or tablet for too long
  • Medications, including decongestants, allergy and blood pressure medicines, antidepressants, birth control pills and some forms of hormone replacement therapy.
  • Contact lenses or eye surgery, including refractive surgery and some cosmetic surgery.
  • Dry air, including winter weather, wind, air conditioning and airline cabin air.
  • Medical conditions such as allergies, Graves’ disease and Sjögren’s syndrome.

More women than men have dry eye, especially in middle age. Hormone changes in menopause can cause dry eye. Learn more about what causes dry eyes.

Treatment for dry eyes

With dry eyes, treatment may include changing medications or contact lens brands or treating an underlying medical condition. Other treatments for dry eyes include over-the-counter artificial tears, prescription medication and changing your environment or work habits. Learn more about dry eye treatments.

Natural treatment for dry eyes

You might see yoga, eye exercises, supplements or acupuncture recommended as dry eye treatments. But before you spend money and time on alternative dry eye remedies, consider simple changes such as taking breaks from reading or screen time, using a humidifier, wearing contacts less often and drinking plenty of water.

Essential fatty acid supplements are one natural treatment that may help dry eye symptoms. Learn more about natural treatment for dry eyes.

When to see the doctor

If dry eyes last more than a week or two, check with an eye doctor to find the cause. Call 503-935-5580 or request an appointment at one of Oregon Eye Specialists’ 10 convenient locations. We can help you find the best dry eye treatments to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.

Read more on Thomas Crawford, M.D.

 

About the Expert

Dr. Thomas Crawford practices comprehensive ophthalmology, with interests in cataract surgery, diabetic eye care and glaucoma. He has practiced ophthalmology in Portland since 1984 and chaired the Division of Ophthalmology at Providence Portland Medical Center for many years. He also practices at Legacy Good Samaritan and Emanuel hospitals and is a clinical instructor at Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Crawford joined Oregon Eye Specialists in 1994. Learn more about Dr. Thomas Crawford »
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