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Classification of dry eye disease

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Classification of dry eye disease (1)

  • A. Etiopathogenic classification of dry eye disease
    • 1. Aqueous tear-deficient dry eye
      • a. Sjogren syndrome dry eye
      • b. Non-Sjogren syndrome dry eye
        • 1) Primary lacrimal gland deficiencies
        • 2) Secondary lacrimal gland deficiencies
        • 3) Obstruction of the lacrimal gland ducts
        • 4) Reflex hyposecretion
          • a) Reflex sensory block
          • b) Reflex motor block
    • 2. Evaporative dry eye
      • a. Intrinsic causes
        • 1) Meibomian gland dysfunction
        • 2) Disorders of lid aperature and lid/globe congruity or dynamics
        • 3) Low blink rate
      • b. Extrinsic causes
        • 1) Ocular surface disorders
        • 2) Contact lens wear
        • 3) Ocular surface disease
        • 4) Allergic conjunctivitis
  • B. The causative mechanisms of dry eye
    • 1. Tear hyperosmolarity
    • 2. Tear film instability
  • C. Classification of dry eye based on severity


  1. 2007 Report of the International Dry Eye WorkShop (DEWS).

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