Are Your Dry Eyes Caused by Medication Use?

Are Your Dry Eyes Caused by Medication Use?

Dry eyes can be uncomfortable and irritating, making it hard to look at a computer screen when you are sitting at work all day. Are you having a hard time figuring out the cause of your dry eyes? Then it might be time to talk to an optometrist for personal recommendations.

This eye problem can be caused by a variety of things. But, there is one place that most people don’t think to look: the medicine cabinet. It is possible that your dry eyes are a side-effect of a medication that you are using.

Medications that Cause Dry Eyes

Both prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs could have an impact on your tear production. Here are some of the most common culprits that you might be using:

  • Oral Antibiotics: Certain antibiotics can affect your tear production. You might also experience other eye symptoms. For example, Penicillin has been known to cause itchiness, redness, and blurred vision.
  • Antidepressants: The brain is affected by antidepressant medication. As these nerves are impacted, it can also affect eye function as well.
  • Birth Control: Millions of women are on birth control pills, and they don’t realize how the medication can increase the risk of dry eyes. Birth control changes hormone levels, which has a domino effect on many other systems in the body.
  • Ibuprofen: Some painkillers can affect the eyes by causing blurriness, dryness, and changes in your color vision. If you experience these symptoms when using pain medication, then you should decrease the dosage and drink a lot of water.
  • Decongestants: You might have eye problems due to allergies. But, medications used to treat allergy symptoms can sometimes lead to more eye problems. For example, decongestants can dry out the tear production in the eyes.
  • Eye Drops: It might seem like a good solution to use artificial tears for your dry eyes. But, some of these products can cause additional irritation to the eyes. Look for products that are free of BAK and preservatives.

Dry eyes might be a temporary issue that goes away after you discontinue the use of medication. Or, you could be dealing with chronic dry eye problems. If you are having issues with your eyes, then it is a good idea to talk to your optometrist for personal recommendations.

Keep in mind that untreated dry eyes could lead to other issues. Many people find that their vision is affected and the eyes get red. Additionally, if the eyes are burning or itching due to dryness, then it increases the likelihood that you will rub the eyes, which can lead to a scratched cornea.

Conversation with an Optometrist

When you visit an eye doctor for an exam, it is important that you discuss the medications that you are taking. Your optometrist can help you determine whether your medications could be affecting your eye health.

Learn more by scheduling an appointment with our team at Village Eyecare. We have four locations for you to choose from in the Chicago area. We are always here to support your vision and eye health!