Are Dry Eyes Hereditary?

Are Dry Eyes Hereditary?

Are Dry Eyes Hereditary?

Are Dry Eyes Hereditary?

Dry eye syndrome is a common and frequently occurring condition. It has diverse and complex causes, making accurate diagnosis problematic. Nowadays, its incidence is on the rise. It can reduce your quality of life and lead to visual disability. It may also compromise the results of refractive, cataract, and corneal surgery. 


What Is Dry Eye Disease?

Dry eye syndrome encompasses a group of tear film disorders. Eye care professionals attribute these disorders to excessive tear evaporation, reduced tear production, or both. Unfortunately, there may be an inconsistent correlation between the signs and symptoms, making accurate diagnosis problematic. Although treatment can improve symptoms, there is no cure. 



Dry eye syndrome can develop due to many factors, such as:


  • Age: The natural aging process can cause dry eyes. Most people over 65 experience this condition at some point.

  • Medications: Some drugs can inhibit tear production, leading to dry eyes. Examples include decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications.

  • Gender: Eye doctors generally accept that women are more likely to develop dry eye disease than men. That is often because of hormonal changes caused by oral contraceptives, pregnancy, and menopause.

  • Climate Conditions: Exposure to dry climates, wind, or smoke can cause increased tear evaporation, resulting in dry eye syndrome. Failing to blink frequently when staring at a digital screen can dry your eyes.

  • Medical Conditions: Some conditions can make you more susceptible to dry eyes. Examples include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid problems. Blepharitis can also be a contributing factor. 

  • Other Factors: Prolonged use of contact lenses can contribute to developing dry eyes.


The Role of Genetics

Researchers have been trying to find a link between genetics and dry eye syndrome for years. After many studies and investigations, they widely accept that genetics can play a role. It is possible to inherit dry eye syndrome from your parents or grandparents. 

When your eye doctor diagnoses dry eye disease, it will help to relate your family history. Studies also found that certain ethnic groups are more susceptible to developing the condition than others. While external contributors are modifiable, there is limited treatment success if genetic factors contribute to your situation. 

According to a study on the heritability of dry eye syndrome, genetic factors contribute moderately to the condition’s diagnosis and symptoms. Future genetic studies may help unravel the pathophysiology of dry eye disease. 


Treatment Options

Treatments for DED focus on relieving the symptoms. They are mostly inflammation control or lubricant based. They help people get relief from the dryness, swelling, and irritation that cause significant discomfort. The primary treatment methods include:


  • Artificial tears

  • Conserving tears using silicone or gel-like plugs

  • Increasing tear production using prescription eye drops or nutritional supplements

  • Treating related ocular surface or eyelid inflammation



Relief from dry eye diseases is not far away. You do not need to suffer and possibly sustain more damage to your eyes. Dry eye symptoms indicate that something is wrong. Schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for diagnosis and treatment. 

For more on dry eyes, visit Westchester Eyes & Aesthetics at our Yonkers, New York office. Call 914-586-EYES (3937) to schedule an appointment today.

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