Fibromyalgia and Dry eyes

Did you know fibromyalgia can affect your eyes?! Over the last six months I noticed my eyes would become extremely irritated. My eyes would appear blood shot, burn and my vision would go blurry. At first I thought my vision had changed and I needed new glasses. My eyes started to bother me daily so I decided it was time to make an appointment with the optometrist. They ran all the pretest exams on my eyes to make sure my eye structure was healthy. The optometrist had me fill out a few questionnaires on dry eyes. It turns out I have dry eyes. The optometrist knows I have fibromyalgia and she explained to me there is actually a high correlation between fibromyalgia and dry eyes. I never knew this.


After having yellow dye drops put into my eyes and looked at under the microscope the optometrist told me that my tears were not healthy. Who knew this was possible!?! I didn’t know one could have unhealthy tears.


Your tears are made up of three components – water, oil and mucus. In my case my oil glands are not secreting enough oil.

When any of the three components of your tears (tear film) are not producing enough it can create issues with your eyes to form . The oil portion helps coat your eyes and and keeps the water component from evaporating. If there is not enough oil secreted the water component will evaporate and create dry eyes. The water component is the biggest portion of your tear film and it is responsible for supplying the moisture your eye needs to feel comfortable. The last layer of your tears is the mucus layer. The mucus layer helps the tear film to adhere to the eye and hold the next layer in place. The mucus layer is what produces “sleep crusties” in the corner of your eyes when you wake up.


What can be done to treat dry eyes?

1. There are many over the counter eye drops you can purchase from your pharmacy to help treat dry eye.


2. I was also prescribed an eye drop that contained a corticosteroid as I had eye inflammation from having such a severe case of dry eye.

3. Heat mask. Applying heat to your eyes for 15 minutes at a time will help the oil glands in your eyes secrete the necessary oil. The optometrist recommended I buy a specific eye mask from them that consists of dry heat. I was told dry heat was better – it applies heat evenly and the mask stays warmer longer.


4. Drink plenty of water!

5. Use a humidifier to keep the air in your home from getting too dry.

6. You may require an eye drop for long term use.


Did you know:

There are three different types of tears. Basal, reflex and emotional tears.

Basal tears help protect the eyes. These tears will appear if you get dust or debris in your eyes. Your eyes shed these type of tears without you even noticing!

Reflex tears are tears made of mostly water. If a small bug or particle gets in your eye reflex tears will flush it out.


Emotional tears shed when you are overcome with emotion. Scientists have found traces of stress chemicals in these tears. This finding could mean crying is a form of stress relief!


For more information about dry eye visit here.


2 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia and Dry eyes”

  1. Thank you for posting this – I suffer with dry eye alongside fibro too. Never knew that there was a correlation between the two. You share some great tips to help with this as well 🙂
    Best Wishes


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