How To Diagnose Dry Eye
Before you try to find out how to diagnose dry eye, it is important to know some facts about this condition.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye occurs when insufficient tears are present in the eye. Tears are needed for lubrication and nourishment of the eye. People, who suffer from dry eye, do not produce sufficient tears or have poor quality tears. Dry eye is a common eye condition and is usually chronic, especially among seniors.
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
Generally, both eyes will show the symptoms of dry eyes, and some of the symptoms include the following:
• A burning or scratching sensation in the eyes
• Enhanced irritation of the eyes due to wind or smoke
• Suffering from eye fatigue after reading for a short period
• Light sensitivity
• Episodes of excessive tearing
• Blurred vision, which tends to get worse towards the end of the day or after concentrating for prolonged periods of time
• Stringy mucus around and in the eyes
If the symptoms of dry eyes do not go away after a couple of days, it is best to consult a doctor.
How To Diagnose Dry Eye?
Diagnosis of dry eye requires an in-depth eye examination. The doctor will conduct several tests, which may include the following:
The doctor will check the patient’s history to find out what symptoms the person is suffering from, any health problem, medications being taken or any environmental triggers could be causing the dry eye.
Thereafter the doctor will perform an external examination of the eye to check the structure of the eyelid and determine whether blinking is occurring properly.
Then the eyelid and cornea will be checked using a bright light and magnification.
The following two tests are the most important when it comes to diagnosing dry eye.
The doctor will use a test known as Schirmer Tear Test to measure how much tear production is taking place in the eye. The test involves placing a blotting strip under the lower eyelid for five minutes and then measuring the amount of the strip is soaked by the tears.
After measuring the volume of the tears, the doctor will check the quality of the tears. This involves using eye-drops that contain special dyes. The dyes stain the cornea. Once staining occurs, the doctor will check the staining pattern and how long it takes for the tears to evaporate.
Now that you know how to diagnose dry eye, it is best to visit an optometrist if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms. Once the condition is diagnosed, there are many possible ways to treat it, like using artificial tears to keep the eyes lubricated or blocking the tear ducts to prevent the tears from draining from the eyes.