Schirmer's test: Ah get it out!

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A few weeks ago in optom we were measuring tear production. We got to try Schirmer's test, which is basically a folded piece of paper that is placed behind the lower eyelid. Yeah, sounds pretty gruesome right?! 

It actually didn't feel as bad as it looks, but the strange sensation was pretty freaky! *See flattering photo above.* The strip is kept in the eye for 5 minutes to monitor tear production. Normal people would fill more than 10mm of tear fluid onto the paper. I... did not, haha! I have the most pathetic tear production ever, talk about dry eyes! I'm glad to say that after the whole 5 minutes there was some wetting and I could finally take the paper out! 

If you've got an eye test coming up, particularly for contact lenses this is something your Optom will check. Don't freak out though, they wont do this to you. Well it's extremely unlikely. The current and less invasive way to check the tear film is just to ask the patient to blink. Then count the amount of time taken until they blink again! You blink to restore the tear film, therefore when you blink.. it's broken. Also known as tear break up time.

Learn something new every day eh?
Until next time, a violated Erica... xo

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