(239) 772-2122

(239) 368-1020

(239) 949-1190

Risk Factors for Dry Eye Syndrome

  1. Aging – As we age most things in our bodies slow down and it is no different with tear production.
  2. Contact Lens Wear – People who have worn contact lenses for many years are at much higher risk of developing dry eyes secondary to the loss of sensation in the cornea and low-grade inflammation caused by wearing contacts contribute to the development of dry eyes.
  3. Auto-immune DiseasesRheumatoid arthritis is the most often related disease to dry eye syndrome. Other diseases are lupus, scleroderma, and other immune diseases. Sjogren’s syndrome is the triad of dry eyes, dry mouth, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  4. Environmental – Dry eye syndrome occurs secondary to environmental conditions such as dry climates, lifestyles that include outdoors with sun and wind exposure, drafts from heating or air conditioning, ceiling fans, and decreased humidity from air conditioning. Smoking and other chemical irritants can cause dry eye disease.
  5. Hormonal – Scientists have found hormone receptors on the surface of the eye which are related to tear production. It turns out that the largest group of dry eye patients are post-menopausal women. Women who are placed on hormone replacement therapy experience are more likely to have dry eye syndrome. Higher doses of estrogen can be associated with dry eye syndrome.  Women that are only taking estrogen are 70% more likely to develop dry eye disease. Women that are taking estrogen and progesterone have a 30% chance of developing dry eye disease.
  6. Exposure of the Eyes – When there is abnormal exposure of the eye, the eye is more exposed to the environment causing dry eyes. Thyroid eye disease can cause the eye to protrude forward exposing more of the eye. Some people may not sleep with their eyes completely closed which exposes the eye during the night. This can also happen after eyelid surgery or to an eyelid abnormality called loose lid syndrome. The upper lid is very loose and allows the eye to open during sleep.
  7. Job Related – A person’s job can have a significant effect on dry eye syndrome. People that work spending their day looking at a computer or other flat screen device decrease their blinking which further exposes the eye to the environment which contributes to dry eyes. Jobs that are in an environment associated with dust, dirt, chemical fumes, cold temperatures with dry air, and others lead to the development of dry eyes. Outdoor jobs contribute to dry eye syndrome such as commercial fishermen, golf pros, farmers, tennis pros, life guards, and other outdoor jobs.
  8. Hobbies or Games – People that stare for long periods of time working on a hobby or playing a video game are at risk of developing dry eye syndrome. In the past, dry eye syndrome was an old person’s problem but now teenagers are now developing dry eyes. Many young people are staring at and playing video games for hours at a time. They are not going to miss one action scene, laser shot, or bomb. Parents need to limit their kid’s times on these flat screens to 30 minutes and then take a break.
  9. Central Nervous System Diseases – There are many central nervous system diseases that can contribute to the development of dry eyes. The more common CNS diseases related to dry eyes are Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. These people have very poor blinking rates leading to dry eyes. The average person blinks their eyes 15 times a minute. A person with CNS disease may only blink their eyes 1 or 2 times a minute leading to severe dry eye problems in many cases.
  10. Medications – There are many medications that can cause dry eye or dry eye syndrome. Some examples are anti-histamines, nasal decongestants, anti-depressants, diuretics, certain blood pressure medications, tranquilizers, birth control pills, and chemotherapy.
  11. Neurotropic Dry Eyes – Normal corneal sensation is very important in maintaining a normal tear film. The loss or reduction of corneal sensation contributes to dry eye syndrome. Patients who have had LASIK or other similar surgeries have a decreased corneal innervation with loss of sensation which disrupts the tear film. This is usually temporary in most cases and the corneal sensation returns in approximately 6 months.
  12. Pregnancy – Pregnant women’s hormones are altered during the pregnancy that can decrease the tear film.
  13. Chemical or Thermal Burns to the Eye – People that suffer injuries to the eye from chemicals or burns to the surface of the eye can suffer enough damage to the tissues or cells producing the tear film that they can develop dry eye syndrome.
  14. Other Eye Diseases – There are many other eye diseases associated with dry eye syndrome such as blepharitis, allergies, Steven’s Johnson Syndrome, and many different skin diseases around the eye. Approximately 50% of people with dry eye syndrome are allergic to 1 or more environmental antigens.
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  • (One of Dr. Croley’s patients wrote the following letter to local news organizations)

    Good Afternoon:
    Thought I’d give you a heads-up for a true community service feature.

    James Croley, MD is an eye surgeon located in Cape Coral [Bonita Springs and Lehigh Acres]. He has been serving in Cape Coral for about 30 years and has grown to be world renowned.

    Dr. Croley enjoys a reputation, as a result of his professionalism and accomplishments, that serve to set him apart from any other in a delicate field. He’s a giving, feeling individual, dedicated to making better those things that serve to improve the quality of life in our society.

    Dr. Croley has now authored a fabulous book entitled “Believing is Seeing.” The book is designed to provide insights into how to improve one’s health and welfare in a complicated world….and does just that!

    I believe that a feature focusing on the life and times of this extraordinary man would represent a true community service.
    In line with the Doctor’s giving persona…proceeds from the book sales will be donated towards Missions.

    Happy Easter & God Bless,

  • Dr. Croley,
    Thank you for seeing me as a new patient! You came highly recommended by [a friend] and I found my experience to be not only professional and thorough, but friendly as well! See you in February for a six-month check.

    My Best,

    Ps. It was a pleasure meeting your staff as well!”

  • Very professional office, staff and doctor.

  • I did not always know why I was doing some procedures but the end result was great and much better than expected.

  • I trust Dr.Croley with my eyes. He is the best eye doctor I have ever been to. He is genuinely concerned about my pressures and being diabetic he keeps track of any changes. I would and have recommended him to my friends. I feel blessed that Dr. Croley is looking after me.

  • Trust completely. Do not want to ever have to change doctor.

  • Very pleased and love the entire staff. Will highly recommend Dr. Croley. I have good results.

  • I’m now excited to get the other eye done.

  • Dr.Croley and his friendly, efficient staff make my appointments very pleasant. I also appreciate Dr. Croley’s current knowledge of new procedures and possibilities.

  • Very nice office, great staff very caring & friendly

  • Has many patients but devotes time only for you when with you. Made me feel very much at ease with her compassion and personal interest. Office staff very courteous & definitely trust Dr. Croley.

  • Dr.Croley is well-versed and articulate and maintains state-of-the-art knowledge and technology. No reservations in recommendations.


The Cataract & Refractive
Institute of Florida

James E. Croley III, M.D.

Office Hours

  • Monday

    7:30am – 4:00pm
    Dr. Croley sees patients at 7:30am in Cape Coral.

  • Tuesday

    8:00am – 4:00pm
    Dr. Croley performs surgeries on this day.

  • Wednesday

    7:30am – 4:00pm
    Dr. Croley sees patients at 7:30am in Cape Coral.

  • Thursday

    8:00am – 3:30pm
    Dr. Croley sees patients at 8:30am in Lehigh.

  • Friday

    8:00am – 3:30pm
    Dr. Croley alternates also in Bonita & Cape Coral.

Request an Appointment

(239) 772-2122

(239) 368-1020

(239) 949-1190