The permanent sensation of feeling as if eyes have grit in them is a medical condition known as dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
It is a frequent cause of eye irritation in those aged 65 and over and is caused by a lack of moisture on the cornea.
As part of National Eye Week, up-to-date details of the causes, treatments and preventions of this condition have been published on the campaign"s website.
The guidance notes diabetics have a 50/50 chance of developing the condition and woman are also at higher risk from it, as well as older people.
Other symptoms include a burning sensation, itchy eyes that are red and may feel tired and dryness in the eye.
Drops or sprays can be used to moisten the eye and the Eyecare Trust recommended foods rich in omega-3.
People with dry eyes can also get specially designed contact lenses - such as 1 Day Acuvue Daily Moist.
by Adrian Galbreth