It could be dry eye, caused by hormonal changes (especially a drop in androgen, a sex hormone) or an autoimmune disease. One, called Sjogren’s syndrome, mostly affects women over 40.
Why it happens:Blinking usually distributes an even flow of tears around the eyes, keeping them moist and comfy. When the eyes don’t produce enough or the right kind of tears, they can itch and burn.
Who is at risk:Everyone, especially, women in midlife. (And hormone replacement therapy won’t help: Women taking estrogen are actually 70% more likely to have dry eye.) Overall, 52 per cent of American women say they deal with dry eye symptoms on a regular basis.
What helps:Artificial tears, gels and ointments can go a log way. Doctors can also slip small silicone plugs into the drainage holes in the inner corners of the eyelids to help keep tears (artificial or your own) on your eyes longer.