Dry eyes occur when there is a decrease in tear production, or when tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. Elderly people frequently experience dryness of the eyes, but dry eyes can occur at any age.
Tears, made by the lacrimal gland, are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Tears bathe the surface of the eye, keeping it moist, and washes away dust and debris. They also help protect the eye from bacterial and other types of infections.