There are many environmental factors that can effect dry eye, most commonly being modern heating and air conditioning systems that rely on forced air. Outside the home, air pollution can definitely contribute to dry eye, but environmental factors can be even more specific than that. Patients who live in dry climates often experience higher-than-average tear evaporation rates, which can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.
Hormones have a significant impact on tear production, which is why women who are mid or post-menopause are far more likely to experience dry eye.
Inflammatory conditions such as rosacea and blepharitis can also increase the likelihood of developing dry eye.
Your diet may also be exacerbating your dry eye symptoms. An eye nutritious diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (from foods like salmon, rainbow trout, and light tuna) plus plenty of fruits and vegetables can help reduce inflammation, offering relief from your symptoms.
Too much screen time can also contribute to dry eyes. Using digital devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones causes our eyes to blink less and as blink rates decrease, the eyes experience more tear film evaporation.
Many of the ingredients in the personal care products we use every day, including our soaps, lotions, and detergents but most notably our makeup, can have a significant impact on our dry eye signs and symptoms.