The Dry Eye Severity Spectrum: What’s Your Indication?

healthy eyes with rainbow coloration

As any eye doctor can tell you, dry eye is a complicated condition which has many potential causes.

The ocular surface is a complex and integrated environment. Injury to any of its component can lead to a cascade of effects and a myriad of interlinked diseases.

If you do not address dry eye quickly, a mild case of blepharitis or ocular irritation can progressively become worse and lead to other more serious and/or chronic conditions. These could even permanently damage your eyesight.

What is the dry eye severity spectrum?

The dry eye severity spectrum represents the range of discomfort people experience when they have ocular problems.

It is a visual aid and scale to describe the severity of eye discomfort which can be easily referenced by doctors and patients.

Why does the dry eye severity spectrum matter?

The purpose of the dry eye severity spectrum is to make sure that each patient can find the relief they need based on their indications and the severity of their symptoms.

The dry eye severity spectrum can be used by patients to easily describe the level of pain or discomfort they are experiencing to their eye doctor should they seek a professional diagnosis.

Where do you land based on your dry eye symptoms?

To find out where you fall, take a look at this chart:1

Dry Eye Severity Level1234
Discomfort, severity & frequencyMild and/or episodic; occurs under environmental stressModerate, episodic or chronic, stress or no stressSevere, frequent or constant without stressSevere and/or disabling and constant
Visual symptomsNone or episodic mild fatigueAnnoying and/or activity-limiting episodicAnnoying, chronic and/or constant, limiting activityConstant and/or possibly disabling

The symptoms which would be considered typical of mild-to-moderate irritation (Level 1 or Level 2) are:

  • Slightly swollen or red eyelids

More painful symptoms would be considered indicative of moderate-to-severe ocular irritation such as:

  • Swollen, puffy, larger-looking eyelids

How can you find relief?

Cliradex Towelettes and Cliradex Light Foam are formulated differently to provide symptom relief for all levels of ocular irritation due to eyelid margin disease from poor hygiene. Our products were designed to provide a full continuum of ocular irritation care so that people with any severity of discomfort can find the relief they need.

Cliradex Light foaming cleanser is ideal for preventative care and mild-to-moderate symptom relief. If symptoms fall within the mild-to-moderate part of the spectrum, Cliradex Light can offer eyelid irritation relief. If you’ve ever had demodex, blepharitis, or ocular rosacea, you don’t want to deal with it again. Using Cliradex Light daily is an important step in protecting yourself in the future.

If the symptoms of eye discomfort indicate moderate-to-severe ocular irritation, patients can use our powerful Cliradex Towelettes. Cliradex Towelettes are formulated to clean more deeply to alleviate moderate-to-severe symptoms and eradicate Demodex mites. We recommend that people who have moderate-to-severe symptoms should consider visiting an ophthalmologist for a professional opinion about your ocular irritation.

No matter where you fall on the dry eye severity spectrum, we are proud to offer a Cliradex product that is designed for you.

The downloadable PDF below will help you find which product is best suited for your needs.


  1. Behrens A, Doyle JJ, Stern L, et al. Dysfunctional tear syndrome. A Delphi approach to treatment recommendations. Cornea 2006;25:90-7