Most optometry practices do not have the equipment to test for dry eye, making it one of the most under-diagnosed eye diseases. To diagnose dry eye, a specialty-trained optometrist performs multiple tests over a series of appointments. The tests performed will evaluate the quality and quantity of tears, along with how quickly they are made and dry. Below are the tests we at Bladen Eye Center perform for an accurate diagnosis.
A non-evasive test, Inflammadry® collects a small number of tears from the lower eyelid and is used to detect the presence of MMP-9, a molecule that causes inflammation of the eye. If left untreated, inflammation can damage the eye’s surface and harm vision.
During this non-evasive test, a small tear sample is collected and used to measure osmolarity – saltiness of tears. As the osmolarity of tears increases, the eye’s surface cells become damaged.
This test uses dyes and blue light to detect damage to the surface of eyes. Dye is added to the eye by a piece of blotting paper and dispersed across the eye by blinking. The blue light is then shined onto the eye to reveal any damaged areas which will be stained by the dye.
Another routine test, Zone Quick™, uses a color-changing thread to measure tear production. A thread is placed in the bottom eyelid for 15 seconds with the patient blinking like normal. The pH in tears changes the thread from yellow to red with the length of the red portion representing how many tears the eye produces.