Hormonal changes, diseases such as diabetes and herpes, the use of certain medications and exposure to smoke or air conditioning are often the cause of a decrease in tear secretion or dry eyes.
This condition becomes more common as people age and can come with a burning sensation, itchiness, red eyes, blurry vision, a gritty feeling in the eye and light sensitivity.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology explains that in cases where the factor that is causing dry eyes cannot be eliminated (such as with the use of medication), treatment can include eye drops, also known as artificial tears.
Contact a health professional if you experience some of the following symptoms described by the U.S. National Library of Medicine:
- Pain or redness in the eyes
- Flaky skin, secretions or an ulcer in the eye or on the eyelid
- If your eye has been injured, if one eye is projecting out of the eyelid or if you have a droopy eyelid.
- If you have pain, inflammation, joint stiffness or a dry mouth, along with the symptoms of dry eye.
- If your eyes do not improve after treating them on your own after a few days
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