Allow us to get to the bottom of your symptoms with our effective dry eye diagnostic testing and treatment plans.
Dry eye occurs when the tears are inadequate and there can be a number of different reasons why that is. Determining the cause of your dry eye symptoms is as important as diagnosing the problem’s existence in the first place. At our dry eye center, we consider this our primary task when patients come in seeking help and wanting to alleviate the symptoms they are experiencing. There are various methods of testing available in order to determine the cause, and afterwards a proper treatment plan can be offered.
Your appointment will begin with our eye doctor speaking to you about your eye health, overall health and dry eye symptoms in order to start the diagnostic process. Our optometrist will ask you specific questions about your symptoms such as the severity and frequency. You may also be asked to fill out a questionnaire to provide additional information about the symptoms you are experiencing in order to help us better understand your situation and determine what course of treatment to pursue.
Certain things, such as the cause of your dry eye, require proper diagnostic techniques and equipment. There are several types of tests you can expect at your appointment:
A comprehensive eye exam is far more than just reading a vision chart. It includes a full thorough examination of your eye health and vision which can provide insight and vital information about your eyes and your dry eye condition.
Dry eye can occur if you are not producing a sufficient amount of tears, and there are a couple of different tests designed to check your tear production. One such test is the Schirmer test in which a strip of thin paper that has measurement markings like a ruler is placed under your eyelid to measure tear production. If you are sensitive to something touching your eye you can request a gentle numbing eyedrop. After 5 minutes, the amount of paper that has become wet is measured to check the tear volume and if only a small amount of paper has become wet, it is a sign of dry eyes.
Alternatively, there is the phenol red test, in which a thread with pH-sensitive dye, which will change to become red when exposed to tears, is placed over the lower eyelid. After 15 seconds, the length of the string that became wet with tears is measured and if only a small amount of the string turned red, it could be a sign of dry eyes.
Dry eye can also be caused by a problem with the quality of your tears. Is your tear film producing adequate tears to prevent you from having dry eyes? There are tests to check this, such as the osmolarity test, which measures the composition of your tears using advanced technology.
Our eye care professional may also perform a test using a flueorescein dye to check for damage to the surface of the eye, which can cause dry eye. The optometrist will gently place some fluorescein on your eye and you will be asked to blink for a few seconds in order to help the dye spread around your cornea. Afterwards you will stop blinking and our eye doctor will evaluate and measure the time it takes for you to blink again in order to determine if you have dry eye.
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is another common cause of dry eye, as it causes disruption in the production and secretion of oil that is a key component of the tear film. Our optometrist can physically check for signs of a problem using advanced imaging to scan the meibomian glands.
Following the diagnostic tests and discussion with you, our eye care professional will have a good idea of what the cause of your dry eye is, and will be able to recommend to you a treatment plan specifically tailored to your unique situation.
If you don’t already have a trusted optometrist, you could start your online search by typing in phrases such as "eye doctor near me," "optometrist near me," or "dry eye specialist near me."
A careful evaluation will enable us to get to the bottom of the cause of your dry eye. Based on that information we will be able to provide the best treatment for you. If you have additional questions, or wish to schedule an appointment you can reach out to your nearest Amplify EyeCare practice either via a call or in-person visit. Our team of eye care professionals is ready and equipped to provide you with the care you need.