Emerging Research in Chronic Dry Eye

Dry Eye Recovery is pursuing ambitious research into the systemic causes of chronic dry eye. Our goal is to provide patients with an effective, low-cost oral supplement by 2023.

If you are a chronic dry eye patient interested in new treatments, we invite you to participate in this new study. Please complete this short survey.

Chronic Dry Eye Causes, Symptoms, and Testing.

Chronic dry eye affects over 30 million Americans, yet its systemic causes remain poorly understood. Dry Eye Recovery is working to close this knowledge gap by building on conventional explanations and testing. Below you’ll find an overview of common causes and methods of diagnosis for acute and chronic dry eye.

Chronic Dry Eye Causes

The traditional causes of chronic dry eye vary widely and include factors such as lifestyle, diet, age, health history, and geography.

Each cause is connected to one of two outcomes: reduced tear production or increased tear evaporation. To see if you have or are at-risk for chronic dry eye, see our list of causes below.

Are you over the age of 40?

Beginning in our early 40s, we begin to lose some function in our eyes. Over half of those over the age of 65 experience dry eye. This number is slightly higher among women — 61% of menopausal women suffer from dry eye.

Do you take medications such as decongestants, diuretics, or beta blockers?

Several medications are known to cause dry eyes, including antidepressants, decongestants, diuretics, hormone replacement therapy, and beta-blockers used in the treatment of hypertension, acne, and birth control.

Do you suffer from an autoimmune disease or other chronic medical conditions?

Chronic dry eye symptoms are frequently attributable to the adverse effects of autoimmune disorders and dysfunction: Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, allergic eye disease, lupus, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), scleroderma, and sarcoidosis.

Do you require vision aids? Have you recently suffered an eye injury or undergone laser eye surgery?

Long-term use of contact lenses or a recent corrective vision surgery can reduce corneal sensitivity, while acute eye injury degrades corneal function further. Alone or in combination, these factors can cause chronic dry eye.

Are you exposed to artificial light from a computer, tablet, or smartphone screen for eight or more hours each day?

Prolonged screen time, reading, and driving lower the rate at which we blink. Chronic dry eye syndrome has been linked to a persistent loss of your eyes’ protective tear layer.

Do you live in a windy area or dry climate?

Arid conditions, high winds, or exposure to smoke increase the likelihood of chronic dry eye. Environmental factors are even more likely to cause issues  for people who have eyelid complications or eye allergies.

Would you call your diet “balanced”?

Diets that exclude appropriate daily portions of leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, fish, and eggs can lead to Vitamin A deficiency, a common cause of dry eyes. 

Other symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency include dry skin and vision problems, particularly at night.

Testing & Diagnosis

Comprehensive Eye Exams

A licensed physician conducts a complete assessment of your visual senses and eye health, evaluating and diagnosing the cause of your dry eye.

Tear Volume Measurement

The Schirmer test and phenol red thread test are two options for measuring tear volume.

Ocular Surface Staining

Special dyes are applied to the surface of the eye to identify areas that are damaged or have insufficient tear flow.

Tear Osmolarity Test

Measures the water and particle composition in your tears. This is one of the most effective tools to diagnose dry eyes and determine the severity of the condition.

Tear Sample Collection

A check for chronic dry eye syndrome markers such as decreased lactoferrin or elevated matrix metalloproteinase.

Learn more about chronic symptoms with founder Dr. Diana Driscoll.

Chronic Dry Eye Treatment Options


Vitamins (A, D, B12), fish oil, and emerging nerve support supplements help naturally increase tear production.

Therapies & Procedures

Warm compress therapies and punctal plugs ease discomfort and prevent tear loss.

Prescription Medications

Pills, gels, and eye drops called cholinergics reduce symptoms of chronic dry eye.


Ointments and artificial tears keep eyes lubricated and soothe irritation.

Doctor welcoming a survey participant

Participate in Our In-House Study

Dry Eye Recovery is offering chronic dry eye patients an opportunity to help shape the development of a new, low-cost treatment for chronic dry eye.

To take part in our dry eye study, click the secure link below.

See the latest in research, resources, and innovation

New Patent Awarded For Dry Eye Treatment

Genetic Disease Investigators, LLC and Diana Driscoll, OD have secured a second U.S. patent for a unique dry eye treatment. Click to learn more.

The Role and Treatment of Inflammation in Dry Eye Disease

Inflammation is one of many systemic issues that contribute to chronic and acute dry eye syndrome. Click to learn more.

DEWS II® Report: A Global Investigation of Dry Eye Syndrome

The “DEWS II® Report” offers unprecedented insight into the causes, treatment, and effects of dry eye syndrome on the global population. Click for a summary and free download link.

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