Dry eye occurs when the glands around the eye cease to produce enough tears to keep the surface of the eye moist. Dry eye can be a natural function of aging. Although it affects both men and women, it often occurs in women after menopause. It may be associated with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogrens's syndrome, the taking of certain medications and living in dry climates.
A scratchy or sandy feeling in the eye; stinging or burning; secretion of mucus; redness; bouts of excessive tearing (due to reduced lipid and mucin layers of the tear film); difficulty wearing contact lenses
Artificial tears, ointments and humidifiers; surgery to close the tear drainage ducts in more severe cases