The Madrid triple classification of dry eye

Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol. 2003 Nov;78(11):587-93; 595-601.
[Article in English, Spanish]


From the clinical point of view, there are many etiologic causes, several combinations of anatomo-pathologic manifestations, and different grades of severity of Dry Eye diseases in the dysfunctional tear film syndrome. The dacryologist doctor must recognize these three parameters, quantify them, and establish the most appropriate treatment. The present triple classification has been elaborated for this purpose. First, there is an etiologic distribution in ten groups: age-related, hormonal, pharmacologic, immunopathic, hyponutritional, dysgenetic, inflammatory, traumatic, neurodeprivative, and tantalic. Each of these groups comprise many variants. Second, there is an anatomo-pathologic classification named ALMEN classification from the acronym of aquodeficiency, lipodeficiency, mucodeficiency, epitheliopathy, and non-ocular exocrine affectations. Finally, there is a severity classification in five grades: subclinical (symptoms only when overexposure), mild (habitual symptoms), moderate (symptoms plus reversible signs), severe (symptoms plus permanent signs), and disabling (all the above, plus visual discapacity).

MeSH terms

  • Dry Eye Syndromes / classification*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / etiology
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / pathology
  • Humans
  • Severity of Illness Index