How is Dry Eye Diagnosed?

May 1, 2024

Everyone deals with itchy, red, dry eyes at some point in their lives. But for many people, these issues persist and affect your daily life. If these symptoms sound familiar, you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome happens when your eyes produce poor-quality tears or not enough tears. Different factors can contribute to the development of this condition, including aging, hormonal changes, medications, medical conditions, and excessive screen time. 

While it may be tempting to self-diagnose and treat your symptoms with over-the-counter eye drops, it’s important to seek a proper diagnosis from your eye doctor if your symptoms persist. In this blog post, we will explore how dry eye is diagnosed and why it’s crucial to consult with a professional for the best treatment options. 

Tear quality 

One of the first tests our eye doctor may perform to diagnose dry eye is evaluating your tear quality. This involves examining the composition of your tears to determine if they contain enough water, oil, and mucus to keep your eyes properly lubricated. If there are any imbalances in your tear film, it could be contributing to your dry eye symptoms. 

Tear volume 

Our eye doctor may also evaluate the volume of tears produced by your eyes. We may use a simple test called the Schirmer test to measure how many tears your eyes produce over a certain time frame. This can help determine if you have adequate tear production or if there is a deficiency that could be causing your dry eye symptoms. 

Evaporation rate 

We may also measure the rate at which your tears evaporate. Rapid tear evaporation can lead to dryness and discomfort in the eyes. By determining how quickly your tears evaporate, we can better understand the factors contributing to your dry eye condition. 

Self-treatment with over-the-counter drops may offer temporary relief but does not address the root cause of the problem. By consulting with an eye care professional and undergoing proper testing for dry eye, you can ensure that you receive the most effective treatment for your specific needs.  

At Hanna Eye Care, diagnosing dry eye syndrome is an essential part of providing effective treatment for our patients. Our dry eye specialists in Jacksonville, Florida can identify the root cause of your symptoms and develop a customized approach to managing your dry eyes. If you’re struggling with dry eye, schedule an appointment with us today!