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evaporative dry eye

noun. due to a deficient tear film lipid layer, which increases tear evaporation

Evaporative dry eye (EDE) is the most common form of dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome is an uncomfortable condition caused by a lack of quality tears. It’s usually caused by a blockage of the oil glands that line the margins of your eyelids. These tiny glands, called meibomian glands, release oil to cover your eye surface and prevent your tears from drying out.

Tears are a mixture of water, oil, and mucus. They coat the eye, making the surface smooth and protecting the eye from infection. The proper mixture of tears also helps you see clearly. If your meibomian glands become blocked or inflamed, your tears won’t contain the right amount of oil to keep them from evaporating. That can cause EDE.

Symptoms of EDE vary in severity. In general, your eyes will feel uncomfortable. The discomfort can include:

  • grittiness, as though there’s sand in your eyes

  • stinging sensation

  • blurred vision

  • inability to tolerate wearing contact lenses

  • sensitivity to light

  • eye fatigue, especially after working on your computer or reading

Your eyes may also have increased redness or your eyelids may appear swollen.

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