Why do my eyes feel scratchy?

When tear production is reduced, your eyes feel dry, scratchy and irritated.  Ironically, the tear producing glands sometimes react to the dry, scratchy feeling by watering more than normal.  These “reflex tears” do not relieve the dryness because they lack a natural component that is essential to lubricate the cornea properly.  If you experience one or any combination of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from a medical condition known as Dry Eye.  Symptoms may include the following:

*Burning and stinging
*Gritty feeling when there is nothing in your eye
*Sensitivity to bright lights
*Mucous secretions in the eye

For patients with less severe dry eye symptoms, artificial tears can often offer immediate relief.  An ophthalmologist may use a combination of several methods to determine whether you have dry eye and to treat dry eyes.