How Is Dry Eye Syndrome Officially Diagnosed?

How Is Dry Eye Syndrome Officially Diagnosed?

How Is Dry Eye Syndrome Officially Diagnosed?

Dry Eye Syndrome Diagnosed

As many as 50% of adults may experience symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome. This chronic condition results from a lack of sufficient tear production or inadequate quality of tears to properly lubricate the eyes.

If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms, it is best to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. During the exam, your eye doctor will perform a series of tests. Based on the results, they will diagnose the cause of your symptoms and recommend an effective treatment.

With the correct diagnosis and treatment, many people with DES can manage their symptoms and improve their eye health. Eye doctors use the following tests to diagnose dry eye syndrome officially:


Tear Film Evaluation


This evaluation is one of the primary diagnostic methods used to evaluate DES. It entails measuring the tear film’s size, stability, and makeup. The test results can assist the doctor in figuring out whether the tear film is the cause of the symptoms.


Comprehensive Eye Exam


A detailed eye exam is crucial to the diagnosis of DES. During the exam, the doctor will search for indications of dryness, surface damage to the eyes, and inflammation. They will also evaluate the quantity and quality of tears produced.


Fluorescein Test


The fluorescein dye test examines the eye’s surface for indications of damage or injury. The eye doctor injects a drop of fluorescent dye into the eye before examining it under a special light. The results can assist them in identifying any corneal abrasions or other eye conditions causing your symptoms.


Schirmer Exam


This test is a straightforward diagnostic procedure that gauges how many tears your eyes produce. Your eye doctor will position a small piece of paper beneath your lower eyelid and measure the amount of moisture that collects.


Lid Margin Assessment


This test evaluates the eyelids and Meibomian glands, which produce the oils required to maintain a stable tear film. The doctor will check the margins of the lids during the examination for any indications of inflammation or other conditions that might be causing your symptoms.


Meibomian Gland Imaging


This test involves capturing high-resolution images of the glands to assist the physician in checking for a problem with gland function.


Testing for Inflammatory Markers


Testing for inflammatory markers aims to determine whether your symptoms stem from an autoimmune or inflammatory condition. The eye doctor draws a blood sample and examines it for markers that point to an underlying autoimmune or inflammatory disease.


Testing for Lipid Layer Thickness


This test measures the thickness of the lipid (oil) layer in the tear film using a specialized tool. The results can help the doctor determine whether the lipid layer is problematic and causing dry eye symptoms.




Multiple factors can contribute to dry eye syndrome. A thorough eye exam is necessary to diagnose DES accurately and determine the best treatment. The tests and evaluations mentioned above can aid in identifying the root cause of dry eye symptoms and help the doctor decide on the best course of action.

You must visit an eye doctor for a comprehensive evaluation if you have dry eye symptoms. Many people with DES can successfully manage their symptoms and enhance their quality of life with the correct diagnosis and care.

For more on dry eye syndrome, visit Clarke EyeCare Center at our Wichita Falls or Burkburnett, Texas, office. Call 940-905-0700 or 940-569-4131 to schedule an appointment today.