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What Type of Deficiencies Can Cause Dry Eyes?

What Type of Deficiencies Can Cause Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes are not a medical condition, though they can progress to dry eye disease in severe cases.

Instead, dry eyes are often a symptom of other conditions. What causes dry eyes? In this guide, we explain the most common causes of dry eyes and how Eye Health Centres in Calgary and Regina can help.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

There are many causes of dry eyes, from ageing to blinking infrequently. This symptom may seem like no big deal. Yet, when left untreated, dry eyes can increase the risk of corneal ulcers, conjunctivitis, headaches, and more.

An eye health specialist can help you avoid these complications by getting to the root of the problem. Here are some of the things that could be causing your dry eye symptoms.


Dry eyes are most commonly caused by ageing. Ageing eyes produce fewer tears than young eyes. Additionally, studies show that age compromises eye surface and tear films, which contribute to dry eyes.

Yet, ageing is not the only cause of dry eyes.

Medical Conditions

The following conditions commonly include dry eyes as a symptom:

  • Arthritis

  • Lupus

  • Diabetes

  • Scleroderma

  • Graves' disease

  • Sjogren's syndrome

In people with Sjogren's syndrome, dry eyes may become so severe that the person requires a co-occurring dry eye disease diagnosis. More than 90% of people with Sjogren's Syndrome also have severe dry eye disease.

Hormonal Fluctuations

Women are more likely to report dry eyes as a symptom of menopause. Menopause leads to a change in hormones. Hormones like androgen and estrogen help regulate tear production.

Individuals undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) also report dry eyes as a symptom.


Dry eyes are a common symptom of many drugs. You may associate dry eye with cannabis use, but it is also common when using prescription medications, such as:

  • Antidepressants

  • High blood pressure medications

  • Birth control

  • Acne medications

  • Parkinson's disease medications

Additionally, over-the-counter drugs like antihistamines and decongestants can cause dry eyes.

Lifestyle Factors

Certain behaviours and habits can also contribute to dry eyes. For example, some people blink less often when deep in concentration. Blinking lubricates the surface of the eye and washes away any debris.

Wearing contact lenses, living in a dry or windy climate, and eye allergies can also lead to dry eyes.

Finally, Vitamin A deficiencies may increase the risk of dry eyes. This vitamin is crucial for normal tear gland function. Without it, dry eyes may occur.

Dry Eyes? Call your Optometrist

Ageing is one of the most common dry eye causes. Certain illnesses, hormonal changes, prescription medications, and lifestyle factors may also cause dry eyes.

Want to learn more about what causes dry eyes? If so, the best person to talk to is an optometrist. At Eye Health Centres in Calgary and Regina, we can help you understand what's causing your symptoms and treat them at the source.

Contact Eye Health Centres to schedule an appointment or stop by one of our locations.


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