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Symptoms » Dry eye » Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic Tests for Dry eye

Diagnostic Test list for Dry eye:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Dry eye includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Inspect the eyes and look for the presence of any foreign bodies or eyelid blepharitis
    • Fluorescein and Rose Bengal staining of the surface of the eye may show small defects in the cornea suggesting dry eyes or corneal ulceration
    • Measure visual acuity
    • Central nervous system examination, including cranial nerves looking for signs of 7th nerve palsy (which may be due to brain stem stroke, brain stem tumor or multiple sclerosis) which causes inability of the eyelid to close forcefully on the affected side and consequent dry eye
    • Look for signs of Bell's palsy (7th nerve palsy of unknown cause) e.g. unable to wrinkle forehead or close eye forcefully on affected side, unable to whistle or blow out cheeks
    • If 7th nerve palsy, examine for a blister-like rash on the pharynx or external ear canal that would suggest herpes zoster (shingles) infection of the nerve
    • Look for associated proptosis (forward displacement of the eyeball). If bilateral may suggest hyperthyroidism from Graves disease. Proptosis may result in incomplete ability to close the eyelids and thus dry eyes
    • Examine for evidence of Rheumatoid arthritis e.g. soft swelling and tenderness of the joints, limitation of movement of the joints
    • Enlarged liver may be felt in primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Schirmer tear test - a strip of filter paper is placed on the inside of the lower eyelid and wetting of less than 10mm in 5 minutes indicated defective tear production and thus dry eyes.
  • Blood tests
    • Raised Immunoglobulin levels and presence of certain autoantibodies may suggest diagnosis of Sjogren's syndrome - e.g. Rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibodies, antimitochondrial antibodies, Anti-Ro (SSA) antibodies.
    • Alkaline phosphatase is elevated in primary biliary cirrhosis

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Dry eye causes:

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Dry eye:

The following list of conditions have 'Dry eye' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Dry eye or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Dry eye:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Dry eye' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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