A person’s age, health, environment, and lifestyle can all affect one’s risk of developing “dry eye.” Dry eye is more common among people over age 40 and especially among women around the age of menopause. Patients with systemic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, rosacaea, or Sjogren’s syndrome are also at risk. Certain medications can worsen dry eye and its symptoms. These can include certain medications for the treatment of depression, high blood pressure, allergies, hormone replacement therapies, and diuretics. While they are not the root cause of the condition, environmental factors including air pollution, dry weather, and persistent wind can worsen the symptoms of dry eye. Heating and air conditioning can create similar environmental conditions indoors. Everyday activities such as driving, reading, focusing on a computer screen, or watching television can also worsen dry eyes symptoms.
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