How is Dry Eye Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease occurs after a comprehensive workup that includes a detailed case history and lifestyle assessment and a series of specialized tests not normally performed during a routine eye examination. Read more below to discover all the key components that need to be assessed before a diagnosis of Dry Eye can be determined.
Dry Eye Questionnaire
There are several evidence-based questionnaires that are used during a dry eye examination. At MyDryEye.ca we have chosen to use the SPEED questionnaire, which is easy to fill out and quickly determines if you might suffer from Dry Eye Disease. CLICK HERE if you want to take the SPEED quiz.
Medical & Life Style Factors
Lifestyle factors such as digital device use, cosmetics worn around the eyes, smoking, diet and overall humidity levels where you work and live can have a big impact on how dry your eyes are. Any medical conditions you may have, particularity auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, thyroid disease and many others, can cause or exacberate dry eye disease. Many common medications such as anti-depressants and anti-hypertensive agents can also dry out the ocular surface.
Tear Concentration & Inflammation
In layman’s terms, we measure how ‘salty’ your tears are and if there are any inflammatory markers present. The higher the salt concentration of your tear layer, the more indicative it is that you have dry eye disease. A high concentration of salt and other particles can indicate that you don’t have enough water in your tears and/or you suffer from inflammation on the surface of the eye.
Eye Lids & Oil Glands
The eyelids are closely examined during the dry eye workup. Ideally, the lashes are normally positioned and free of debris and buildup. The oil glands of the eyelids (meibomian glands) are imaged and expressed to see what type of oil production there is. Almost every case of dry eye has some form of meibomian gland dysfunction.
Meibomian Gland (Oil Gland) Imaging
Because the meibomian glands play such a crucial role in dry eye disease, it helps to get an image of the glands so that we can visualize them in their natural state. Lipiview © is a state of the art instrument that images the meibomian glands and shows us how many of them are still functioning.