Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How are dry eyes diagnosed?

If you suspect you have dry eyes on wearing contact lenses, you should make an appointment to see your eye doctor. Your historical information gives the most reliable clues to the diagnosis of dry eyes. A careful examination of all the eye tissues usually provides more documentation for making a diagnosis.

While assessing for CLIDE your doctor will document your comprehensive contact lens history. He will evaluate whether the lens has been worn daily or extended overnight. Your doctor may need to ensure that you are not sleeping in lenses approved for daily wear, as this can lead to CLIDE. Environment factor such as humidity, closer to heating or air conditioning duct may aggravate CLIDE.

Your eyes may be examined using a special microscope called a slit lamp. The condition of the tear film (the layer of liquid) on your eyes is looked at, and the cornea (front of the eye) is checked to see if it has dried out, or has been damaged. Your doctor may also use different dyes to see if skin cells on the eye have worn away. The dye is put in your eye as an eye drop, and the dye will temporarily stain the eye where cells have worn away.

A test called the Schirmer test may also be carried out. A thin strip of filter paper is placed just inside the lower eyelid. After a few minutes, the paper is then removed to see how much liquid it has soaked up. Your doctor can then measure how dry your eyes are.
Source: Health care booklet from Guardian pharmacy

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