Dry eyes can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health condition, which may include:
This is an autoimmune disease that can affect certain glands in the body, including the glands that help keep the eyes lubricated.
This can cause the eyelids to become red, swollen or infected and can cause dry eyes.
Meibomian gland dysfunction
The meibomian glands secrete oil into the tears to lubricate the eyes. When these don’t function correctly, the eyes can become dry.
If your eyes come into contact with an irritant, it can cause them to become sore, swollen and dry.
If you’re diabetic, you’re more at risk of dry eyes and eye infections, such as conjunctivitis.
According to Lupus UK, 25% of patients with lupus will experience dry eyes, which can be caused by the condition itself or the medication used to treat it.
Vitamin A deficiency
If you don’t have enough vitamin A in your body, it can cause your corneas to dry out.
This condition causes a red rash on your skin, and it can affect your eyes, causing them to dry out.
A common symptom related to rheumatoid arthritis is dry eyes. This can often be one of the first indication of the condition.
If you’re allergic to something, such as pollen, dust or pet dander, one of the symptoms could be sore, itchy dry eyes.
This is not a full list. Speak to a GP if you think your dry eyes could be down to a medical condition. The dry eye symptoms you have may not be due to a medical condition - in fact, sometimes there doesn’t seem to be any cause at all.