Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when your tears are not able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. One common reason you may have dry eyes is due to a lack of proper blinking. When looking or staring at anything for an extended period of time, you tend to blink less. The less you blink, the more the eyes tend to dry out. This can occur while watching TV, reading a book, working on the computer, or looking at your cellphone. You also may experience dry eyes in a number of different situations, such as in an air-conditioned room, riding a bike, driving with the windows down, or just by being outside on a windy day.
For some people, the cause of dry eyes is increased tear evaporation and an imbalance in the makeup of your tears. For others, it is simply decreased tear production.
Your tears are a complex mixture of water, fatty oils and mucus. This mixture helps make the surface of your eyes (corneas) smooth and clear, as well as helping to protect your eyes from infection.
MGD, or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, is a blockage or abnormality of the meibomian glands. The meibomian glands are responsible for producing the healthy oils that your tears need in order to lubricate your corneas. These oils are important because they keep the tears from evaporating too quickly. If your glands become blocked, they are not able to expel the proper oils for your tears, resulting in dry eyes. MGD is often the underlying cause of dry eye syndrome.