Dry eyes can
But the condition is more common among older people, as the tear glands tend to become less productive with age.
How to spot it - The condition usually affects both eyes. As well as feeling dry and irritated, the eyes may look red, feel gritty, or experience a burning sensation. A slight blurring of the vision or light sensitivity may also occur and the eyelids may stick together when waking up. Contact lenses are likely to feel uncomfortable.
How does it happen - The following factors can lead to dry eye syndrome.
- Some medications may dry the eyes as a side-effect
- Some illnesses, such as arthritis, might cause dry eyes. People with thyroid problems may be unable to close their eyes fully, even when sleeping
- Exposure to air conditioning, central heating or windy conditions
- Damage to the eyelids (e.g an eye injury)
- Inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis)
- Contact lenses
Over-the-counter remedies should resolve dry eye syndrome within about a week; complications are unusual. If symptoms persist, see a doctor or eye care professional for prescription medication, and to check there is not a more serious condition.