Deciphering the Connection: Can Dry Eyes Cause Blindness

Rishabh Mehta
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
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can dry eyes cause blindness

Dry eyes are a very common eye condition that almost everyone experiences at some point.

A question that concerns our optic health is, “Can dry eyes cause blindness?”

Although blindness is not the end result of most dry eye cases, the situation is not so simple.

Let us find out this connection between impaired vision and dryness of our eyes and understand the underlying reasons behind them.

What are dry eyes

Dry eyes are a condition when the eyes do not produce sufficient tears to lubricate the eyes.

To understand what exactly causes dry eyes, we need to look a bit deeper.

The tear glands in our eyes produce tears, forming a thin, watery film over the external parts of the eyes.

Whenever the tears produced are not enough or too watery to stay as a layer, the eyes become dry because of air exposure.

Dry eyes are divided into two types:

  • Decreased Tear Secretion
  • Increased Tear Evaporation 

The reasons for dry eyes are multifaceted and are usually difficult to treat completely.

The symptoms of dry eyes are persistent itching, redness, and blurry vision.

If you notice the symptoms of dry eyes, seek immediate professional help without fail, as it may lead to future complications.

Can you go blind from dry eyes

Eyes irritationSource: Pheelings_Media_from_Getty_Images
Constant irritation in eyes

Dry eyes do not cause blindness but can result in blurry vision, redness, and constant irritation.

When coupled with other serious issues like Conjunctival Scarring and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, dry eyes can cause blindness.

The decreased production of tears during dry eye disorder can damage the eye cells, leading to inflammatory reactions.

Although blindness does not result from dry eyes, the associated discomfort and long-term dryness can damage eye tissues like the cornea.

Corneal damage can result in impaired vision (like blurry sight) but not blindness.

Let us take a look at the treatment options for dry eyes.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a skin and mucous membrane disease that results in the slow death of the tissues (Necrosis).
Dry eyes, when paired with SJS, cause elevated evaporation and decreased production of tears in the eyes.

Treatment options available

Eye doctor will closely inspect your eyesSource: Elnur
Consult your eye doctor if you experience any symptoms

Although dry eye disease is common, only a few treatment options are available.

Most treatments usually include a mix of prevention procedures and prescription medications for dry eyes.

Drinking plenty of water and a rich plant-based diet are simple steps to increase tear production.

Over-the-counter artificial teardrops (cellulose derivatives) and ointments are used to lubricate the eyes.

Your Ophthalmologist can also prescribe medications like Topical Corticosteroids, Cyclosporin A, and Tacrolimus for more serious dry eye conditions.

Tear duct plugs and surgical procedures are great options for treating dry eyes.

It is advised to seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms like constant eye irritation, redness, and grittiness in your eyes.

Also Read: Home remedies along with medical treatment help in alleviating dry eye symptoms faster. Read “Effective and Natural Home Remedies for Dry Eyes” to learn about them.

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When the eyes tear glands fail to produce the tears needed to lubricate the eyes, it causes dry eye disease.

Prolonged dry eye conditions can irritate and damage the surface cells of the eye tissues.

Patients suffering from this ailment often ask, “Can dry eyes cause blindness?”

Generally, dry eyes are not the sole reason for blindness.

However, dry eyes cause vision loss when paired with serious conditions such as Conjunctival Scarring and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

Medical intervention is necessary for managing dry eyes.

Over-the-counter medications like artificial tears and ointments serve to moisten the eyes.

While dry eyes cannot cause blindness, their damage to the eye should prompt you to seek swift medical attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can vision loss from dry eyes be reversed?

Impaired vision from dry eyes can be reversed by medical treatment. Still, complex conditions like Stevens-Johnson Syndrome can worsen your vision. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a disease of skin and mucus tissues that can cause dry eyes and, ultimately, blindness when not treated.

How long does it take for dry eyes to cause blindness?

It is difficult to determine how long it takes for dry eyes to cause blindness. Dry eye syndrome does not cause any blindness by itself, but chronic complications resulting from dry eyes can result in blindness. This timeframe depends on the treatment, severity, and underlying causes.

Is dry eye a lifelong complication?

For the vast majority of cases, dry eyes are curable. Still, chronic cases of dry eyes also exist where the symptoms do not go away completely and persist throughout life. For example, aging can cause dry eyes, which can remain for the rest of your life.

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