Dry eye is a chronic medical condition that develops when the eye’s tear film no longer lubricates and protects the outer surface of the eye. This can be the result of an increase in tear evaporation or diminished tear production.
Dry eye can be caused by a variety of circumstances:
- contact lens use
- exposure to hot, dry or windy climates
- autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis
- thyroid conditions
- increasing age
- decreased blinking
- use of certain medications
- dietary deficiency of omega-3 essential fatty acids
- sandy-gritty irritation
- burning eyes
- blurred vision that clears with blinking
- discomfort from reading, watching TV or computer use
Keep in Mind
Dry eye can damage the cornea and affect vision. If you think you might be experiencing dry eye, consult an eye care specialist.