Two different types of tears are produced by your eyes. One kind is caused by emotion—crying over a sad event, or on the opposite side of the spectrum, laughing so hard you cry. These types of tears do not have a direct effect on the actual lubrication of your eye.
However, the second kind of tears your eyes produce do keep your eyes lubricated—which in turn keeps them comfortable. If your eyes lack this lubrication they will become irritated—resulting in dry eye.
The production of these “lubricating tears” tends to decrease as we age, which is why dry eye tends to be more common in those who are older. This syndrome can also be caused by dry or smoky rooms, exposure to windy or cold environments, or as a side effect of medications.
Unfortunately, dry eye syndrome cannot be completely cured, but it can be soothed and controlled by using lubricating eye drops that create the effect of natural “lubricating tears.” If the drops don’t work for you, surgical or laser treatment are also available, and can be performed by experienced surgeons at Quigley Eye Specialists.