Tear production normally decreases as we age. Although dry eye can occur in both men and women at any age, women are most often affected. This is especially true after menopause.
Dry eye can also be associated with arthritis and accompanied by a dry mouth. People with dry eyes, dry mouth and arthritis are said to have Sjogrens syndrome.
A wide variety of common medications - prescription and over the counter - can cause dry eye by reducing tear secretion. Be sure to tell your ophthalmologist the names of all the medications you are taking, especially if you are using:
Since these medications are often necessary, the dry eye condition may have to be tolerated or treated with "artificial tears."
People with dry eye are often more prone to the toxic side effects of eye medications, including artificial tears. For example, the preservatives in certain eye drops and artificial tear preparations can irritate the eye. Special preservative free artificial tears may be required.