Schirmer test

What is a Schirmer Test?

A Schirmer test is an eye examination used to measure tear production in individuals. This test is most useful in assessing the quality of tear production in individuals with suspected dry eye syndrome (DES). The test is objective and helps identify conditions that may cause eye discomfort or damage.

How to Prepare for a Schirmer Test

No special preparation is necessary for a Schirmer test. It usually takes no more than a couple of minutes. Since the test involves contact lenses and probes, it is important to ensure the tools being used are clean and sterile.

Procedure for a Schirmer Test

The patient's eyes must be completely and properly dried before the test is administered. The contact lens is placed on the eye, and a probe is used to measure the amount of tear production in the eye. The patient must keep their eyes open for the duration of the test. After the tear production and flow measurements are taken, the patient is then allowed to close their eyes.

Types of Schirmer Test

There are two types of Schirmer tests: a traditional Schirmer test and a modified Schirmer test. The traditional Schirmer test is conducted without any application of topical anesthesia or any other substance. The modified Schirmer test is administered with the addition of topical anesthesia.

Reasons for Considering a Schirmer Test

A Schirmer test may be prescribed as part of a comprehensive eye care checkup or as a diagnostic test for certain eye diseases. It is a quick and easy way to measure the amount of tear production in the eyes. Since tear production is essential for lubricating the surface of the eye and protecting it from dryness and infection, it is important to measure it periodically.

Risks of a Schirmer Test

There are no known risks associated with a Schirmer test. The procedure is noninvasive and typically painless. It may cause mild discomfort, however, as it requires the patient's eyes to remain open for a period of time.

When to Consider a Schirmer Test

Any time an individual is experiencing symptoms of dry eye syndrome, they should consider a Schirmer test to determine if tear production is satisfactory. Symptoms of dry eye include redness, irritation, grittiness, and excessive blinking.