North America's Premier Network
of Private Practice Optometrists

Join Us

Your Medications May Be Causing Dry Eye​

If you have dry eyes and can’t figure out why, the answer may be in your cupboard. Dry eye is often a side effect of certain medications.

People are surprised to learn that even non-prescription medications could be contributing to their uncomfortable eyes.

Common Medication Examples

  1. Antibiotics taken orally have been known to cause dry eyes. Penicillins can cause redness, itchiness, and blurred vision.
  2. Pain relievers like ibuprofen can cause dryness, blurriness, and even color vision changes. If your eyes are aggravated by this, take lower doses and be sure to drink plenty of water.
  3. Decongestants made to ease allergy symptoms can also, ironically, cause stinging of the eye and create a gritty sensation.
  4. Birth control pills can make eyes dry because of hormone fluctuations. Certain kinds may also cause light sensitivity.
  5. Antidepressants target nerves in the brain, which can result in disruption of your normal eye function. Symptoms could include double vision and eye sensitivity.
  6. Some artificial tears, surprisingly, have been known to further irritate eyes. Be sure your artificial tears are preservative-free and do not contain BAK. Better yet, use the brand recommended by your Vision Source® eyecare professional.

The Effects Of Dry Eye

Dry eye creates discomfort, can impede vision and cause red eyes and itchiness. If you commonly rub your eyes when they’re dry and itchy, it can also cause corneal scratching. Dry eyes are missing the natural protection provided by tears.

Talk To Us About Your Medications

You usually can’t toss aside a medication simply because it make your eyes uncomfortable. We understand. Talk with a Vision Source® doctor about it. We can help you find a solution that will keep you healthy and keep your eyes comfortable. 

Your eye health is important to us! Find a Vision Source® practice near you to discuss it further. 

Top image by Flickr user Pat David used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Author Vision Source — Published June 1, 2015