Are you experiencing persistent dry eye symptoms like burning, irritation, or itching? You may need to see your eye doctor for testing to determine the cause of your symptoms.
The doctors at Frantz EyeCare are using an innovative new technology called TearLab to help determine the cause of your dry eye. Keep reading to learn if you should be tested for dry eye using TearLab!
What is the Tear Film?
Your tear film is located at the front of your eye, coating the cornea to ensure that your tears do not evaporate too quickly. The cornea is the clear dome-shaped window at the front of your eye.
The tear film is made of three layers, and each layer serves a unique purpose. The layer of the tear film closest to the cornea is the mucin layer, and it contains mucus.
This mucus helps to spread the tear evenly across the eye. It also anchors the two layers above firmly to the eye surface.
The middle layer of the tear film is known as the aqueous layer and is made of water. The aqueous layer hydrates the eye, creates a barrier against bacteria, and protects the cornea from abrasions.
The outer layer of the tear film is the lipid layer containing oil. This layer prevents the two other layers from evaporating too soon and keeps the eye’s surface smooth.
How Does the TearLab Test for Dry Eye?
The TearLab is a comprehensive diagnostic assessment of the health of an individual’s tear film. The TearLab tests for the osmolarity of the surface of your eye.
Osmolarity refers to the density of salt content in your eye. Osmolarity levels are a good indicator of the overall health of your tears.
The high salt content causes the surface of your eyes to be stressed and damages the underlying cells. TearLab collects a small amount of tears from your eyes and analyzes the fluid to test the quality of your tears.
This test will give your eye doctor a better understanding of the cause of your dry eye. Determining the cause of your dry eye will help your eye doctor decide what kind of treatment will be best for you.
What Can I Do About My Dry Eyes?
The best way to successfully treat dry eye can vary from patient to patient, often depending on the severity and cause of the condition. Your eye doctor may recommend changing some parts of your daily routine to aid in dry eye treatment.
They may ask you to add omega-3 supplements to promote healthy tear development. They also may ask you to increase your use of artificial tears to help your eyes stay lubricated.
Sometimes, prescription eye drops are necessary to help treat your dry eye. Your eye doctor may also suggest placing plugs in your tear ducts to prevent excess tear drainage.
Preventing some tears from draining allows them to remain on the eye’s surface longer. Tell your eye doctor the symptoms you are experiencing at your eye exam.
They may perform additional tests like the TearLab osmolarity test to better understand the root cause of your dry eye. If osmolarity levels contribute to your dry eye, the TearLab test can allow your eye doctor to treat your dry eye accurately.
Are you ready to get to the bottom of what’s causing your dry eye with the TearLab? Schedule an appointment at Frantz EyeCare in Fort Myers, FL, today!