Dry eyes occur when your eyes don’t produce enough tears to lubricate its surface. Tears are important for washing foreign objects out of the eye, preventing the eyelid from scraping, and keeping vision clear. Usually, with dry eye conditions, the eye isn’t producing enough tears, or the tears are the wrong consistency or evaporate too quickly to properly lubricate the eye. Dry eyes can be caused by a variety of things, including age, menopause, allergies, wearing contacts too long, or living in a dry climate.
Dry eye symptoms include burning, itching, or feeling like you have something in your eye. If not treated for a prolonged period of time, dry eyes can raise your risk of eye infection and even damage the surface of your eye.
There are a variety of dry eye treatments available. The most common are artificial tears, prescription eye drops, and occlusive tear duct plugs. You and your doctor can determine what treatment option may be right for you.