What Are the Types of Dry Eye? - Dryeye Rescue

Types of Dry Eye Disease: Aqueous-Deficient and Evaporative 

Dry eye disease is a common issue affecting millions of people worldwide, causing discomfort, irritation, and vision problems. To find relief, it's crucial to understand the different types of dry eye Disease. In this article, we'll explore the two primary types: aqueous-deficient dry eye and evaporative dry eye.

Aqueous-Deficient Dry Eye

Aqueous-deficient dry eye occurs when your eyes don't produce enough tears, leading to dryness and irritation. Some factors that contribute to this condition are:

  • Aging: Tear production tends to decrease as we age, making older people more susceptible to dry eye.
  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, especially in women during pregnancy, menopause, or while taking oral contraceptives, can affect tear production.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain conditions like Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes can be linked to reduced tear production.

Evaporative Dry Eye

Evaporative dry eye happens when tears evaporate too quickly from the eye's surface. This often results from problems with the oil-producing glands in the eyelids called meibomian glands. These glands produce an oily layer that prevents tears from evaporating too fast. Causes of evaporative dry eye include:Meibomian Glands

  • Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD): MGD occurs when the meibomian
    glands become clogged or inflamed, leading to insufficient oil secretion and increased tear evaporation.
  • Blepharitis: An inflammation of the eyelids caused by bacteria or skin conditions, which can disrupt the normal functioning of the meibomian glands and contribute to evaporative dry eye.

Why Proper Diagnosis Matters

Diagnosing the specific type of dry eye disease is essential for effective treatment. Your eye doctor will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to identify the underlying cause of your symptoms, including:

Detailed Symptoms Assessment: Your doctor will inquire about your symptoms, such as dryness, burning, itching, sensitivity to light, and any vision changes.

Medical History: Informing your eye doctor about any relevant medical conditions, medications, or environmental factors can help in the diagnosis.

Diagnostic Tests: Various tests may be conducted, such as the Schirmer test to measure tear production and the tear film breakup time test to assess tear stability.

If you don’t have an eye doctor that specializes in dry eye disease or can’t conduct a proper evaluation, find one here

Treatment Options

Once the type of dry eye disease is determined, your eye doctor can recommend appropriate treatment options tailored to your needs:

Aqueous-Deficient Dry Eye: Artificial tears or ointments can be prescribed to supplement the natural tear film and alleviate dryness.

Products for Dry Eye Disease

Evaporative Dry Eye: Treatments for MGD and blepharitis may involve warm compresses, lid hygiene, and meibomian gland expression to unclog the glands and improve oil flow.

In severe cases or when conservative treatments are ineffective, your doctor might suggest advanced therapies like punctal plugs (to retain tears), anti-inflammatory medications, or other specialized procedures.

Remember, if you experience dry eye symptoms, consult an eye care professional for a comprehensive evaluation. With proper care and management, you can find relief and enjoy comfortable, clear vision once again.
Dry eyeDry eye disease