How Our Calgary Optometrists Diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is caused by a lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. The consequences of dry eyes can range from subtle irritation to significant inflammation and even scarring of the eye. Our eyes are constantly lubricated with tears that contain oils, mucus, antibodies, and water to keep them functioning correctly and comfortably. If your tears do not provide enough moisture, you may notice:

  • A gritty feeling
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling like you have something in your eye

If you feel you may be showing signs of dry eye syndrome, it is important to seek medical attention from your optometrist so they can perform a dry eye test and begin treatment right away to allow you to see comfortably once again.

What Is The Schirmer’s Dry Eye Test?

The Schirmer’s test determines whether your eyes produce enough tears to adequately keep them healthy and moist. If the test results come back and you do not have a sufficient supply of tears, your optometrist will begin a treatment plan to help combat your dry eye syndrome. Some potential causes of dry eye syndrome include:

  • Aging
  • Inflamed eyelid glands
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Climate changes
  • Vitamin A deficiency

Dry eyes are caused by a variety of reasons that disrupt the healthy tear film. Your tear film is composed of three layers; fatty oils, mucus, and aqueous fluid. Problems with any of these three layers can cause dry eyes. 

How Is A Dry Eye Test Performed?

Your eye doctor will first begin by asking you to remove your eyeglasses or contact lenses. They will then place the end of a special paper strip inside the lower eyelid of each eye. You will be required to sit with your eyes closed for five minutes with the strip kept in place. It is very important that you do not squeeze your eyes or rub them as it could alter the test results. After the five minutes are up, your eye doctor will carefully remove the strips from the bottom of each eyelid and will measure the amount of moisture collected on the strip. In general, the lower the amount of moisture collected on the strip, the fewer tears you have produced. More than 10mm of moisture on the filter paper after five minutes is a sign of normal tear production.

What Happens If My Results Indicate Dry Eye Syndrome?

If your test results come back with an inadequate supply of moisture, your doctor will then begin to look into underlying causes. Sometimes an existing condition or external factor may lead to dry eye syndrome, so your optometrist needs to understand the source of the condition to provide an effective treatment plan. Common dry eye syndrome treatments include:

  • Over-the-counter medications (artificial tears)
  • Prescription medications
  • Eye inserts
  • Punctal Plugs
  • Intense Pulse Light (IPL) treatments

Calgary Dry Eye Test

Tears provide lubrication, wash away any foreign objects, reduce the risk of infection, and keep the surface of the eye smooth and comfortable. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are of poor quality meaning that they may not contain a balanced formula of an aqueous solution, mucus, and oil. If you start to notice irritation occurring in one or both of your eyes, it is important that you seek medical attention from your optometrist so they can perform a dry eye test to help you see comfortably again. This painless, fast, and effective test will be able to determine if you suffer from dry eyes and will allow your eye doctor to commence treatment right away.

If you are experiencing signs of dry eyes, Specs in the City Optometry provides children, adults, and seniors with dry eye tests in SE Calgary to help safeguard your sight and relieve the aggravating symptoms of dry eyes. Do not delay dry eye treatment; come visit one of our experienced SE Calgary optometrists who can help you see comfortably once again. Contact our clinic by calling 1-403-252-2020 or by filling out our online contact form.


How long does a dry eye test take?

Dry eye tests are performed very quickly only requiring five minutes of your time. The test is painless and will not require any downtime after the appointment.

Who is at an increased risk of developing dry eye syndrome?

As we age, tear production slowly starts to decrease making us more susceptible to dry eye symptoms. Also, those who suffer from autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis may be more prone.

Can I still wear contacts if I suffer from dry eye syndrome?

Yes, but your eye doctor may require you to switch contact lenses and solutions that will not irritate your eyes while wearing them. You may also be required to wear your eyeglasses more often to prevent possible irritation from occurring with long-term wear of contact lenses. 

Share This Post:

Related Posts

Contact Us Today!

Your eyes are our priority! Our knowledgeable and professional staff can answer all your questions. Call us today at 1-403-252-2020 or fill out the form below:

Specs in the City
Have Questions? Call Us Today At

Call Us

TopFind UsBook OnlineCall Us
TopFind UsBook OnlineCall Us