Dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) occurs when the tear glands do not produce enough tears, causing your eyes to feel itchy, scratchy, and irritated. It is more common in older adults and in those with autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis.
Wearing contact lenses and smoking cigarettes may increase your risk for dry eye syndrome. Dry eyes also may be caused by certain medications, such as diuretics, antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants.
Try a nonprescription artificial tears solution, such as Akwa Tears, Duratears, or HypoTears. Do not use eyedrops that reduce redness (such as Visine) to treat dry eyes.
If artificial tears do not help, call a doctor. Excessive dryness can damage your eyes.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||November 2, 2011|
Last Revised: November 2, 2011
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