|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.