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Dry Eyes

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Updated May 24, 2007

Definition: Dry eyes happen when your tear glands (also called lacrimal glands) don’t produce enough tears.

Causes of Dry Eyes

As you age, your body produces fewer tears. Dry eyes are a common complaint of older adults. Ironically, dry eyes can cause watery eyes, because the body senses too few tears and triggers excessive tearing. However, these extra tears are not as lubricating.

What Can I Do About Dry Eyes?

Your eye doctor can examine your eyes to figure out why you are having dry eyes. Treatment usually involves some form of eye drops or artificial tears. In some cases, your eye doctor may suggest partially blocking the tear ducts with lacrimal plugs. Because the tear ducts drain tears from the eyes, blocking them helps keep tears on the surface of your eyes.

Back to Aging-Related Eye Disorders

Source:

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia. Dry Eye Syndrome

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