The eye has a film which keeps the eye moist. With dry eye, the film is not sufficiently lubricated. Irritation and problems can occur.
Dry eye can be exacerbated by certain environments such as dry, windy weather, smog or dust, air conditioning and heating systems, and cigarette smoke.
Symptoms of dry eye can include gritty sensation, sore or tired eyes, watery eyes, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, foreign body sensation, burning or irritated eyes and red eyes.
One of the major causes of dry eye is the natural aging process. There is a reduction in tear production with age. At 65 years of age the tear glands produce about 40% of the lubricating tears they produced at 18 years of age.
The treatment for dry eye depends upon the severity of the condition.
Mild symptoms are best managed by using artificial tear supplements. Tear supplements do not cure dry eye, but provide relief.
For more serious symptoms, there are other treatments for dry eye that include:
adjustment of your medications
use of steroid drops
and plugs, to prevent tears draining from the eye