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Dry eye is a condition that occurs when the eyes do not have enough quality tears to supply nourishment and lubrication. The tear film has three basic layers: oil, water and mucus. Problems with any of these layers can cause dry eyes. For example, the oil film produced by small glands on the edge of your eyelids (meibomian glands) might become clogged. Blocked meibomian glands are more common in people with inflammation along the edge of their eyelids (blepharitis), or other skin disorders.

For some people, the cause of dry eye is decreased tear production. For others it’s increased tear evaporation and an imbalance in the makeup of your tears. There are many situations that can put an imbalance in our tear films. This can be due to many things such as:

  • Side effects from medications

  • Aging

  • Diseases of the glands such as MGD

  • Allergies

  • Certain medical conditions

  • Infrequent blinking, associated with reading or staring at a computer or video screen

  • Spending long hours in a dry environment

  • Laser eye surgery

  • Tear gland damage from inflammation or radiation

What Causes Dry Eyes?