Do Diuretics Lead to Dry Eye?
Because diuretics are designed to rid the human body of excess fluids, that also includes production of tears, resulting in dry eyes.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry Eye occurs when the eye doesn’t produce tears normally, or when the tears evaporate too quickly. Inflammation of the surface of the eye can occur as well. This condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, as well as to partial vision loss if left untreated.
Dry Eye could make it difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for extended periods of time, and it can decrease tolerance for dry environments, such as the air inside an airplane or more arid climates like those of Arizona and New Mexico.
Medications that Cause Dry Eye
Many types of medications can cause Dry Eye:
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs
- Birth control pills
The kind, type, and brand of diuretics appears irrelevant. The very mechanism of how a diuretic works tends to set the human body up for Dry Eye symptoms.
Causes other than medications
Other causes of Dry Eye include contact lenses, natural aging (especially after menopause), and certain autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren's Syndrome as well as rheumatoid arthritis and collagen vascular diseases.
Treatments for Dry Eyes
There are numerous treatments for Dry Eye, depending on its severity.
- Natural Tears
These are available over the counter from a variety of brands. This treatment is for milder cases of Dry Eye.
This is a brand of eye drops only available by prescription. It’s designed to help reduce inflammation as well as moisten the eyes with better quality tears.
- Steroid eye drops
Steroid drops are not meant for long-term use but they are effective at reducing inflammation of the eyes. Inflammation is often a main component in Dry Eye.
This is a Bausch + Lomb product involving a sterile, slow-release lubricant placed under the lower eyelid where the inside of the eyelid meets the eyeball. It’s a solid insert composed of a lubricating substance (hydroxypropyl cellulose) that liquefies over time, providing an all-day relief from Dry Eye.
- Punctual Plugs
A punctal plug is a small, sterile device that is inserted into one of the openings of the tear drainage ducts located in the corners of the eyelids. Once the plugs are in place, tears can no longer drain away from the eye through these ducts, preserving the tear film on the eyeball and relieving Dry Eye symptoms.
Many of these remedies can be tried at home while others may require an office visit to an eye care specialist. Luckily, there are many treatments for Dry Eye!
Dr. Jenna Zigler
Other Dry Eye articles by Dr. Zigler: 4 Tips to Stop Waking Up With Dry, Painful Eyes; Which Antidepressants Cause Dry Eye; Fish Oil for Fighting Dry Eye Inflammation; and What Not To Eat If You Have Dry Eye