Just about everyone develops dry eye symptoms at some point in their life, especially in dry climates.
But some factors increase the risk of getting dry eye syndrome (DES), and having an autoimmune disease is one of them.
People with certain autoimmune diseases are much more prone to dry eye syndrome, so it’s important for them to seek dry eye treatment while managing their underlying health condition.
At Arlington Vision Source in Arlington, we treat dry eye syndrome caused by autoimmune disease and other factors.
Dry Eye: What Is It and What Causes It?
DES can be caused by many things, including aging, some medications and medical conditions, dry weather, and heating and air conditioning. Even prolonged screen time can trigger dry eye symptoms due to not blinking enough.
The Link Between Dry Eye and Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases are caused by the body's immune system attacking healthy cells. This causes inflammation in the body as well as tissue damage, leading to a host of other health issues, including dry eye syndrome.
There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases, and several raise the risk of developing dry eyes.
A well-known autoimmune disease linked to dry eye is Sjogren's syndrome. The syndrome affects the glands that produce tears and saliva, resulting in extremely dry eyes and mouth. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and scleroderma have also been linked to dry eye.
In many cases, the body attacks the glands that produce tears, causing harmful inflammation and dry eye symptoms. Added to this, certain medications used to treat autoimmune disease, like anti-inflammatory drugs, can also cause dry eyes.
In addition to getting screened and treated for DES by your eye doctor, we also recommend seeing a healthcare professional to manage autoimmune symptoms and prevent the disease from progressing and making dry eye symptoms worse.
Dry Eye Treatments in Arlington
If you are experiencing persistent dry eye symptoms, it’s important to consult with your eye doctor at Arlington Vision Source in Arlington.