We’re seeing more and more young people with dry eyes.
Dry eyes often don’t get the attention they deserve in the medical field because it’s not as sexy as cataract surgery, but I love treating dry eyes because it makes a huge difference in someone’s daily life.
And do you know why more young people have dry eyes?
1- Increased screen time: this is the main culprit for why we’re seeing dry eyes in younger people. When you’re staring at your screens all day long, you forget to blink. In fact you blink 50% less when on a screen. This causes the eyes to dry out faster.
2- Caffeine: too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing. Caffeine dehydrates the body, when you’re overall dehydrated this also causes the eyes to become dry.
3- Contact lens: contact lenses stay soft by absorbing your tears. Wearing them for long periods of time can cause dry eyes. This combined with increased screen time - dry eyes almost a sure thing!
4- Cleansing: forgetting to cleanse the eyelids is a commonly overlooked cause of dry eyes. The lash line oil glands which secrete the oily layer of the tear film. Without the oily layer your tears evaporate much faster, leaving the eyes dry. It’s easy to forget about these little guys, but cleansing the eyelids helps them to stay open and unclogged.
5- Medications: accutane is commonly used in younger people, this medicine in particular causes dysfunction of the lash line oil glands which causes dry eyes.
6- Diet: processed foods are more inflammatory, this inflammation affects the whole body, including the eyes, causing them to be dry. There are studies currently being done to see how the gut microbiome contributes to dry eye disease.