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How is dry eye syndrome diagnosed?

Dry eyes are usually diagnosed with a thorough eye exam that focuses on the production of tears. A dye may be used to track the flow of tears and the functioning of the eyelid; the way it interacts with the surface of the eye will be evaluated. The volume of your tear production can also be assessed. Other factors will also be considered, such as medications currently being taken, exposure to environmental irritants, and underlying health problems that may contribute to the condition.

An ophthalmologist is usually able to diagnose dry eye by examining the eyes. Sometimes tests that measure tear production are necessary. One test, called the Schirmer tear test, involves placing filter-paper strips under the lower eyelids to measure the rate of tear production under various conditions. Another test uses diagnostic drops to look for certain patterns of dryness on the surface of the eye.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.