The condition name 'DRY EYE' is inherently confusing as many people with 'Dry Eyes' excessively tear. They may have symptoms that do not necessarily feel dry. 'Dry Eye' refers more to an imbalance in your tear chemistry. The thin film of fluid on the surface of your eyes is quite a complex recipe and if that is not produced by your body properly, unstable vision and discomfort and sometimes permanent damage to the ocular tissue can ensue.
For the purposes of mapping a treatment plan and communicating status, I break down DRY EYE into two main forms  suspected lipid deficiency  suspected aqueous deficiency
Note that these can occur concurrently and are listed as ‘suspected’ as they are sometimes hard to distinguish clinically but are treated differently.
Management options for progressing severity for both forms of dry eye will be highlighted below. If not treated, eyes that are chronically dry progress to having DRY EYE DISEASE. This is an inflammatory condition that generally requires prescription drops or oral medications to manage. Advancing Dry Eye Disease is not only uncomfortable but can cause unstable vision and irreparable damage to ocular tissue.
Concurrent with any treatment, I recommend four easy changes that you can make to help both forms of Dry Eye
Hydration – drink lots of water!
Humidity – consider a humidifier in house or work environment for winter or dry environments
Screen use use – try to limit and take breaks of 5 minutes minimum each hour
Make-Up – consider hypoallergenic make-up and be sure not to line eye lid margins (tissue between lashes and eyeball)
How do I know what form of Dry Eye that I have?
The BEST way to determine what form of dry eye that you have is an eye exam by an Optometrist! Special dyes and tests are used to identify your type of dry eye (AQUEOUS vs. LIPID Deficiency) and the best treatment course. If this this is not possible, start with recommendations on LIPID deficiency based dry eye as it is much more common.