Dry Eye Diagnosis – Send Us Your Results

Learn how to get the most useful information out of your visit to the eye doctor. The results of the following tests indicate which one of the tear secretion glands is not working and what type of dry eyes you have. When performed by a physician, the results of these tests can help you select the right TheraLife® products to relieve your symptoms.Dry eyes can usually be diagnosed by the symptoms alone. Tests can determine both the quantity and the quality of the tears. A slit lamp examination can be performed to diagnose dry eyes and to document any damage to the eye.

Schirmer’s Test – Measures Tear Volume from Lacrimal Gland

This test measures the amount of moisture bathing the eye. This test is useful for determining the severity of a dry eye condition. A five-minute Schirmer’s test is performed (with or without anesthesia) using a filter paper 5 mm wide by 35 mm long. Wetting less than 5 mm with or without anesthesia is considered diagnostic for dry eyes.

If the results for the Schirmer’s test are abnormal, a Schirmer II test can be performed to measure reflex secretion. In this test, the nasal mucosa is irritated with a cotton-tipped applicator, after which tear production is measured with a filter paper. For this test, wetting less than 15 mm after five minutes is considered abnormal.

Tear Breakup Time Test – Measures Tear Viscosity & Meibomian Gland Function

A tear breakup time (TBUT) test measures the time it takes for tears to break up in the eye. The tear breakup time can be determined after placing a drop of fluorescein in the cul-de-sac of the eye.

Tear Protein Analysis

This test is not performed very often. A tear protein analysis test measures the lysozyme contained within tears. In tears, lysozyme accounts for approximately 20 to 40 percent of total protein content.

A tear lactoferrin analysis test provides good correlation with other tests.

Ask your eye doctor for the values of this test each time you visit. These values can be very useful when tracking dry eye recovery.

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