Common tell-tale symptoms include:
- Burning sensation
- Watery eyes
- Sensitivity to bright light
- Feeling of sand or grit in the eyes
- Transient blurring of vision
What causes dry eyes?
Harsh environmental factors and pollutants such as haze and smoke often irritate our eyes and cause discomfort. The low humidity in air-conditioned rooms and aircraft cabins are other common causes of dry eyes.
The rate of tear production as well as the "effectiveness" of tears decreases as we grow age. Dry eyes are more common in post-menopausal females.
Some contact lens materials absorb more moisture from the eyes. As a result, some contact lens wearers may complain of dry eyes.
Blinking at regular intervals is essential to recoating the surface of the eye with a film of tears. Prolonged staring at computer terminals and TV screens and reading decreases the frequency of blinking and sets the stage for dry eye.
Medications such as antihistamines (for allergies and runny noses), decongestants (for sinusitis), anti-acne pills and certain blood pressure medications are often associated with dry eyes as a side effect.