Your eyes produce adequate amount of tears that are necessary for the normal lubrication of your eyes and to wash away particles and foreign bodies. Both eyes are usually afffected. When there is a lack of tears, you have dry eyes, which you will feel a burning, scratching, or stinging sensation. How long have you had dry eyes? Do you have it all of the time or does it only occur at certain times, with certain activities, or in certain places? Does it affect your vision? Does it cause pain? Do you have allergies? Do you have any other symptoms like dry mouth, joint pain, swelling, or stiffness? Do you smoke? Are you menopausal? There are also medications that cause dry eyes, such as antihistamines and decongestants, birth control pills, antidepressants, and pain relievers. There are several common causes of dry eyes. They include aging, dry environment (i.e., wind, fan, air conditioning, heater), sun exposure, smoking or second-hand smoke exposure, cold or allergy medications. For some people, it is the cause of an imbalance in the composition of their tears or that they simply don't produce enough tears to keep their eyes comfortably lubricated. In rare cases, it may be a symptom of Wegener's granulomatosis and systemic lupus erythematosus
. Sjogren's syndrome and autoimmune diseases associated with Sjogren's syndrome are also conditions associated with dry eyes. Signs and symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome includes not only dry eyes but also dry mouth, mucus membranes, and often rheumatoid arthritis
or other joint discomfort. As you can see, there are numerous causes of dry eyes. Most people who have dry eyes experience mild irritation with no long-term effects. However, if the condition is left untreated or becomes severe, it can lead to complications that can cause eye damage, resulting in impaired vision. I would suggest a visit with a primary care physician
for an evaluation of your condition and its actual cause.