Which Test is Best?

Each Dry Eye test and questionnaire is designed to provide some information about the presence and/or severity of disease. No single test can provide a complete picture because frequently co-morbid conditions can co-exist. Each co-morbidity must be evaluated in turn with the appropriate test e.g.: Schirmer I with anesthetic to detect the degree of aqueous deficiency; meibography to determine the state of meibomian glands. These two tests, among countless others, are separate and distinct, and neither can be substituted for the other.

A July 2000 review published in Cornea concludes that “the importance of multiple tests in the evaluation of tear film disorders is overwhelmingly acknowledged, with patient history/dry eye questionnaires, FBUT (Fluorescein break up time), ocular surface staining, and the Schirmer test being the preferred diagnostic tools.”

Since then, other diagnostic tests have been developed. However, there is still no single test that can evaluate all of the various co-morbidities associated with Dry Eye.


Survey of preferred tests for diagnosis of the tear film and dry eye
Korb DR.
2000 Jul;19(4):483-6.
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