Tear test; Tearing test; Dry eye test; Basal secretion test
There are no risks with this test.
Do not rub the eyes for at least 30 minutes after the test. Leave contact lenses out for at least 2 hours after the test.
Even though the Schirmer's test has been available for more than 100 years, several studies show that it does not properly identify a large group of patients with dry eye. Newer and better tests are being developed. One test measures a molecule called lactoferrin. Patients with low tear production and dry eye have low levels of this molecule.
Another test measures tear osmolarity, or how concentrated the tears are. The higher the osmolarity, the more likely it is that you have dry eye.
Foulks GN. Treatment of dry eye disease by the non-Ophthalmologist. Rheum Dis Clin N Am. 2008;34:987-1000.
Tanenbaum M, McCord Jr. CD. Lacrimal drainage system. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 13.
Lemp MA, Foulks GN. Diagnosis and management of dry eye disease. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 14.
Miller D, Schor P, Magnante P. Optics of the normal eye. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 4.23.
American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Patterns Committee. Preferred Practice Pattern Guidelines. Comprehensive Adult Medical Eye Evaluation. San Francisco, CA: American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2010. Accessed January 17, 2011.
American Academy of Ophthalmology. Cornea/External Disease Panel. Preferred Practice Pattern Guidelines. Dry Eye Syndrome. San Francisco, CA: American Academy of Ophthalmology: 2008. Accessed January 17, 2011.
Tomlinson A, Khanal S, Ramaesh K, Diaper C, McFadyen A. Tear film osmolarity: determination of a referent for dry eye diagnosis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006;47:4309-4315.
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