Can Dry Eyes Cause Vertigo?

can dry eyes cause vertigo
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Vertigo is a condition that causes a person to feel dizzy and unbalanced. It is usually caused by a problem with the inner ear, but it can also be caused by other medical conditions. One of these conditions is dry eyes, which is a common and easily treatable condition. In this article, we will explore the link between dry eyes and vertigo, the symptoms, and how to treat it.

What is Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes are a common condition, where the eyes do not produce enough tears to keep them lubricated. This can cause a range of symptoms, including dryness, discomfort, blurred vision, and redness. Dry eyes are more common in women, people over the age of 40, and those who wear contact lenses. It can also be caused by environmental factors, such as air conditioning, smoke, and wind.

Can Dry Eyes Cause Vertigo?

Yes, dry eyes can cause vertigo. This is because the inner ear is directly connected to the tear film in the eye. If the tear film is not adequately lubricated, then it can cause a disturbance in the inner ear, resulting in vertigo. This is particularly common in people who have a pre-existing inner ear disorder, such as Meniere’s disease.

Symptoms of Vertigo Caused by Dry Eyes

The symptoms of vertigo caused by dry eyes can vary, but they usually include dizziness, nausea, and a feeling of spinning. Other symptoms may include headaches, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible, as vertigo can be a sign of a more serious health condition.

Diagnosing Dry Eyes and Vertigo

If you suspect that your vertigo is caused by dry eyes, you should see an eye doctor. They can perform tests to diagnose the condition, such as a tear film break-up time (TFBUT) test. This test measures the time it takes for the tears to evaporate from the eye. If this time is shorter than usual, it can indicate that you have dry eyes.

Treating Dry Eyes and Vertigo

The treatment for dry eyes and vertigo can vary, depending on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, artificial tears can help to lubricate the eyes and reduce the symptoms of vertigo. This can be done with over-the-counter products, or prescription eye drops. For more severe cases, medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and improve the quality of tears.

Preventing Dry Eyes and Vertigo

To prevent dry eyes and vertigo, you should take steps to reduce the risk of developing the condition. This includes avoiding environmental factors that can cause dry eyes, such as air conditioning, smoke, and wind. You should also make sure to drink plenty of water, and use a humidifier in your home. Wearing protective glasses can also help to reduce the risk of developing dry eyes.


Dry eyes can cause vertigo, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see an eye doctor, who can diagnose and treat the condition. Taking steps to reduce the risk of developing dry eyes, such as avoiding environmental factors and drinking plenty of water, can also help to reduce the risk of vertigo.

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