People rarely think that other health problems can accompany baldness. And, while we know that certain conditions like lupus can cause baldness, some other conditions are linked with alopecia in ways that we still don’t understand. That’s certainly the case with dry eye disease, which has recently been linked with a type of baldness called alopecia areata.
So, what is the link between alopecia and eye problems?
What Is the Dry Eye Syndrome?
In a healthy eye, the cornea is always kept moist with a specific kind of tears called basal tears. Every time we blink, these tears coat the cornea with a layer of liquid that keeps the cells healthy and protects it from the environment. However, when the glands in charge of creating these tears fail to do their job, our vision and eye health becomes compromised.
Dry eye syndrome (DES) can be caused by some medications like antihistamines, antidepressants, and high blood pressure drugs. Other causes of dry eye include seasonal allergies, advancing age, and autoimmune disorders.
Alopecia and Dry Eye Syndrome
A study published in the International Journal of Dermatology found a significant link between alopecia and eye problems. The research included 32 people with alopecia areata and a control group of 20 healthy people matched by sex and age. Around 84 percent of people with alopecia areata were also diagnosed with DES.
Scientists believe that this happens because inflammatory mechanisms that cause DES may also play a role in alopecia areata, or vice versa.
There seems to be a connection between alopecia and eye problems. However, more research is needed to understand this relationship better and develop ways to treat these conditions.