What Causes Dry Eyes All of a Sudden

Apr 1, 2024 | Dry Eye

Dealing with dry eye can be uncomfortable and frustrating, especially when the symptoms seem to come out of nowhere. Several factors can contribute to this issue, and understanding these causes can help you find relief. In this blog post, we will explore some common reasons for sudden dry eye and provide tips on how to manage and prevent your symptoms.  

Environmental changes 

Are your eyes suddenly dry? It could be due to changes in your environment. Whether you’ve recently moved to a new location with different humidity levels or started working in an air-conditioned office, these changes can impact the moisture levels in your eyes. Remember to stay hydrated and try using over-the-counter eye drops to relieve any discomfort.  


Allergies can also trigger sudden dry eye. When your body reacts to allergens like pollen or pet dander, it can cause inflammation in your eyes and affect tear production. You can try taking antihistamines or using allergy eye drops to help with dryness. 


Certain medications can cause dry eye as a side effect. If you’ve recently started taking a new medication and noticed your eyes suddenly feel dry, talk to your doctor about possibly switching to another medication or ways to manage your symptoms. They may recommend using preservative-free eye drops or adjusting your dosage. 

Digital eye strain 

Another potential culprit is digital eye strain. When we stare at screens, we tend to blink less, and less blinking means drier eyes. To prevent this, make sure to take regular breaks from screen time, remember to blink often when using digital devices, and adjust the brightness and contrast settings on your screens to reduce eye strain.  

Hormonal changes 

Hormonal changes can also trigger sudden episodes of dry eyes. Fluctuations in estrogen levels during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause or while taking oral contraceptives can affect tear production and quality. Your eye doctor may recommend hormone therapy or lubricating eye drops to manage symptoms. 

Stress or fatigue 

Stress and fatigue are two more potential causes of sudden onset dry eyes. When we are stressed or tired, our bodies produce fewer tears which can lead to increased discomfort and irritation in the eyes. Managing your stress levels through relaxation techniques and getting enough sleep each night can help prevent dryness.  

Dealing with sudden onset dry eye can be challenging but understanding the potential causes is the first step toward finding relief. By making small changes in your environment and daily routine and seeking professional advice when needed, you can manage or even prevent dry eye symptoms and better protect your eyesight.  

At The Eye Center, our dry eye specialists in Pembroke Pines, Florida offer a range of treatment options, including OptiLight IPL therapy, to help patients suffering from dry eye. Reach out to us today for personalized care and effective solutions tailored to your unique needs.