There are numerous questionnaires that help us make a first assessment of the patient's symptoms. How is he OSDI test, which gives us a quick assessment of the symptoms of Dry Eye, its severity and the effects on their ability to function in different daily activities, but it is not the only tool for diagnosis for dry eye which we ophthalmologists have.
Tests to detect dry eye
There is a list of examinations that are carried out regularly in ophthalmological consultations to detect the Dry Eye as they are:
Tear break-up time
Studying quality or stability of the tear film through the so-called tear film break-up time (BUT) which indicates the time that elapses from the moment the patient blinks until the tear film "breaks" and a dry area appears on the cornea. If the tear is unstable, we say that the BUT is low.
Studying tear production Through the Schirmer test and the measurement of the tear meniscus.
It can also be evaluated whether the dry eye has caused damage to the conjunctival and corneal surfaces (keratitis) by ophthalmological examination in the slit lamp using Fluorescein, Lissamine Green or Rose Bengal tests.
Advanced technology for the diagnosis of dry eye
However, since the technology for the diagnosis of dry eye has evolved a lot, specialized dry eye centers have specific equipment that allows us to analyze very precisely the quality of the tear, its production and its quantity.
As is the case with meibography, which provides great information about the quantity, the anatomy, the appearance and the existence of atrophy of the meibomian glands. The GM are responsible for secreting the outer lipid layer of the tear film thanks to which the tear is prevented from evaporating prematurely. The alteration of these glands is the main cause of evaporative dry eye.
Osmolarity test that detects how concentrated is the tear. In patients with dry eye, a hyperosmolar tear is usually found.
In many cases in which the patient reports having gone to numerous ophthalmological consultations due to dry eye problems and no consistent correlation has been found between the clinical symptoms (usually severe) reported and the findings detected by the ophthalmologist, studies are carried out much more specific such as the examination by confocal microscopy that allows us to analyze if there is a alteration in nerve fibers of the cornea that may be the cause of the discomfort of dry eyes. When these fibers are altered, we speak of neuropathic dry eye.
En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We are conducting studies on the importance of the microbiota and its influence on the development of dry eye as well as the search for genetic markers in tears and blood that offer us new horizons for the increasingly personalized diagnosis of this syndrome.