"At first it was very slight, you know, throughout the day I'd feel a little bit of stinging or burning," said Blanes.
Fast-forward to present day, "It almost hurts when I wake up in the morning," said Blanes.
Ophthalmologist Dr. Alan Kozarsky says millions of Americans live with mild dry eye and their vision can get blurry.
He says Gina's symptoms are common, but there are others, "The gritty sensation. It may be interpreted as burning," said Dr. Kozarsky.
Gina's dry eye is due to a thyroid condition but the list of possible causes is long, it includes medications, exposure to smoke, hormonal changes in women, dry air and older age.
The end of winter may bring some relief.
Dr. Kozarsky said, "People staying in doors in heated areas will bring out the worst in dry eyes."
But there are things you can do, "We start with artificial tears to replace the tears that are missing. We'll ask people to increase their nutritional intake of fish oil omega 3, flaxseed," said Dr. Kozarsky.
He also suggests using a humidifier and not wearing contacts if you have dryness. See a doctor to rule out a more serious condition or determine if you need further treatment.