Diagnosing Dry Eye Syndrome

By Jeffrey Schultz on September 06, 2016

A patient undergoing a comprehensive eye examDry eye syndrome is an irritating, sometimes painful condition that generally affects both eyes simultaneously. Most people have experienced dry eyes at some point in their lives, whether due to the climate or temporary dehydration; however, for people with chronically dry eyes, the condition can be a nightmare, interfering with many aspects of their routines. Fortunately, there are eye treatment options available designed to provide relief of dry eye symptoms and address the underlying causes of the condition.

Before dry eye can be properly treated, however, it must first be diagnosed. Dry eye diagnosis is not always as straightforward as one might think. This is because dry eyes are only symptoms of whatever is causing the eyes not to produce enough tears or tears of sufficient quality. At Lifetime Eye Care, Dr. Jeffrey E. Schultz and Dr. Jessica Simon carefully examine the eyes and use advanced diagnostic measures to provide dry eye diagnosis. At our Cleveland, OH eye care clinic, we are able to provide effective treatment for virtually any cause of dry eye thanks to our comprehensive range of eye treatments.

If you are suffering from the symptoms of chronic dry eye, please schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Schultz or Dr. Simon by contacting Lifetime Eye Care today.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?

Although dryness of the eyes is certainly the most apparent symptom of dry eye syndrome, it is far from the only one. Other symptoms include:

  • A stinging or burning sensation in your eyes
  • Redness of the eyes
  • The feeling that you have a foreign object in your eyes
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Blurred vision
  • Mucus accumulated in or around your eyes
  • Light sensitivity

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms in addition to dry eyes, it is particularly important that you seek diagnosis of your condition right away.

How Is Dry Eye Syndrome Diagnosed?

To determine the underlying cause of your dry eye syndrome, our doctors may perform one or more diagnostic tests. Every dry eye diagnosis begins, and some end, with a comprehensive eye exam. During this exam, Dr. Schultz or Dr. Simon will ask questions about your eye health and overall health history, as well as about any medications you may be taking. Sometimes, the combination of an eye exam and this health history are sufficient as many cases of dry eye can be attributed to:

  • Diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, and scleroderma.
  • Medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, birth control pills, and drugs for high blood pressure and acne.

In many cases, our doctors also administer tests to measure the quantity of tears being produced by the eyes and the quality of those tears. A test called the Schirmer test, in which strips of blotting paper are used to collect tears, is used to measure quantity, while a corneal exam is used to determine how long it takes for special eye drops to evaporate in order to determine the quality of your tears.

Learn More about Dry Eye Diagnosis

To learn more about dry eye diagnosis, please contact Lifetime Eye Care today.

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