No Tears Left: How to Manage Dry Eyes in Adults

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No Tears Left: How to Manage Dry Eyes in Adults

No Tears Left: How to Manage Dry Eyes in Adults

applying eyedrop

Understanding Dry Eyes in Adults

Dry eye syndrome, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a common eye condition that affects millions of adults around the world. It occurs when your eyes don't produce enough tears, or when the tears evaporate too quickly, leaving your eyes feeling dry, gritty, and uncomfortable.

While anyone can develop dry eyes, the condition is more common in older adults, particularly women after menopause. Certain medical conditions, medications, and environmental factors can also increase the risk of developing dry eyes.

In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for dry eyes in adults, as well as lifestyle changes that can help manage the condition.

Symptoms of Dry Eyes in Adults

The symptoms of dry eyes can vary from person to person, but may include:

  • A gritty, dry sensation in the eyes
  • Burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
  • Redness and irritation of the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Excessive tearing

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see an eye doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Causes and Risk Factors of Dry Eyes in Adults

There are many factors that can contribute to dry eyes in adults, including:


As we age, our eyes naturally produce fewer tears, which can lead to dryness and discomfort.


Women are more likely to develop dry eyes than men, particularly after menopause. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding can also increase the risk of dry eyes.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can increase the risk of developing dry eyes, including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders


Many medications can cause dry eyes as a side effect, including:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Hormone replacement therapy

If you are experiencing dry eyes and are taking any of these medications, talk to your doctor about alternative options.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also contribute to dry eyes, including:

  • Dry air
  • Wind
  • Smoke
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Prolonged screen time

Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses for an extended period of time can lead to dryness and discomfort in the eyes.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Dry Eyes in Adults


To diagnose dry eyes, your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam, including:

  • Measuring the quantity and quality of your tears
  • Examining your cornea and eyelids
  • Checking for signs of inflammation or infection

Your doctor may also ask about your medical history and any medications you are taking.


The treatment for dry eyes will depend on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Treatment options may include:

  • Artificial tears: Over-the-counter eye drops that lubricate the eyes and provide temporary relief.
  • Prescription eye drops: If over-the-counter eye drops aren't effective, your doctor may prescribe medicated eye drops to reduce inflammation and increase tear production.
  • Punctal plugs: Tiny plugs that are inserted into the tear ducts to prevent tears from draining too quickly.
  • Meibomian gland expression: A procedure that involves applying heat and gentle pressure to the eyelids to help release oils that lubricate the eyes.
  • Lifestyle changes: Making certain lifestyle changes can also help manage dry eyes, such as using a humidifier, taking breaks from screen time, and avoiding smoking and secondhand

In conclusion, dry eyes can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition for many adults. While there are many causes of dry eyes, there are also many effective treatments available that can help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of dry eyes, it is important to schedule an appointment with our optometrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Your optometrist can help identify the underlying cause of your dry eyes and recommend the best treatment options for your individual needs.

Don't suffer in silence with dry eyes - take the first step towards relief by making an appointment with an optometrist today.