Some people do not produce enough tears to keep the eye wet and comfortable. Sting, burning, scratchiness, stringy mucus, and excess irritation from smoke are usual symptoms. Problems with contact lenses can be caused by dry eyes and make it impossible to wear contact lens at all. On the contrary, increased tearing may be a symptom of dry eyes as well.

Tear production decreases with age, especially after the age of menopause. Furthermore, dry eyes are associated with arthritis, inadequate production of saliva, as well as drugs and medications resulting in reducing tear secretion.

Replacement with artificial tears is the basis of treatment. Artificial tears are available without a prescription and are used as eye drops to lubricate the eyes and replace the missing moisture. An overly warm room, hair dryers, windy days, or anything that adds an irritant to the air will make a person with dry eyes more uncomfortable. Smoking is especially bothersome. Scratchiness that is bothersome on first opening the eyes in the morning can be treated by using an ointment at bedtime. People with extremely severe dry eyes must meet the doctor because it may cause blindness.
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