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Schirmer's test and basal tear secretion

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  • Schirmer's test and basal tear secretion

    I was wondering how low can basal tear secretion be for one not to have any serious symptoms?My schimer test was 2mm which is severe dry eyes but my eyes are not in any pain, wind and ac doesn't really bother me.
    If anyone can tell me their experience with the schirmer test and how accurate it is?

  • #2
    how low can basal tear secretion be for one not to have any serious symptoms?
    How low? Probably zero. I have known people with extreme dry eye who did not have pain or normal dry eye symptoms at all. It's unusual but it definitely happens. In fact I believe reduction in corneal sensitivity can happen as a result of dryness.

    My schimer test was 2mm which is severe dry eyes but my eyes are not in any pain, wind and ac doesn't really bother me.
    Out of curiosity was that with or without anaesthetic drops?

    When Schirmer is wrong, it's normally wrong in the other direction: showing you're NOT that dry. So personally I would take a 2 on Schirmer seriously. Normal corneal pain signals are really important in order to preserve vision... if you're not getting any pain or other symptoms despite very poor aqueous tear production, then you're really dependent on your doctor & the tests to let you know when you need to be stepping up treatment and lubrication.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

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    • #3
      Without anaesthetic drops i was 22 and 24mm

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      • #4
        I like that your doctor did it both ways. - It's good that at least you have a lot of reflex tears, but it's not good that your basal tear secretion is so low.
        Rebecca Petris
        The Dry Eye Zone

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        • #5
          What are long term complications having low basal tear secretion?Im 26 now and in good health(except the eyes)Will i damage my cornea and go blind as i get older and have even less tear secretion?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lukas View Post
            What are long term complications having low basal tear secretion?Im 26 now and in good health(except the eyes)Will i damage my cornea and go blind as i get older and have even less tear secretion?
            No... blindness from dry eye is extremely rare in developed countries. No scary complications generally. In some exceptionally severe cases, constant dryness can lead to corneal ulcers, scarring etc. but that's quite rare (even among our community here at dry eye zone). Whether it gets worse later depends what's causing it. (Generally in completely healthy people tear production and meibomian gland secretion decline after a certain age but that doesn't necessarily mean it causes them a lot of problems.)

            However, it's important that you take care of them well now, because a dry eye is a vulnerable eye which has more difficulty with things like allergy, minor infections and so on. What has happened to some of our members here is that they used to have mild dry eye, and didn't have pain from it, but something happened (a little injury or infection or something) and after that their dry eye got much worse causing them a lot of pain and was much harder to treat. So you're smart to be finding out now rather than just ignoring it till it starts hurting. - I'd suggest you also ask specifically about the condition of your meibomian glands which so often are a part of the dry eye picture.
            Rebecca Petris
            The Dry Eye Zone

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            • #7
              Anoter question!Can basal tear secretion ever improve if the result of poor tear production was caused(induced) by injury or surgery?(not Sjögren's syndrome)
              And can MGD be a cause of poor aqueous tear production?

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              • #8
                Yes can I second this.
                Can basal tear secretion improve over time from lasik ?

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