What are some of the risk factors for dry eye? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Millions of Americans have dry eye, a troubling and sometimes serious condition affecting the parts of the eye that are in contact with our external environment. Lauren Gormley, a optometrist at Johns Hopkins, describes some of the known risk factors.

Gormly: Smoking I put that in sort of the lifestyle factor. So other can be contact lens wearing or increased screen time. Women have the highest percentage of dry eye but specifically women over 50. This stems from the hormone changes that start for most women in their 40s when their testosterone levels start to drop as a normal part of aging. And that testosterone is important for maintaining and regulating the oil glands in the eyelids which secrete one of the layers of the tear film.          :30

Autoimmune conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome may also cause dry eye, and seasonal allergies play a role, too. So when the condition persists seeking an expert opinion is wise, Gormley says. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.