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Diagnosis

Your GP may make a diagnosis of dry eye syndrome by reviewing your symptoms, considering your medical history and looking at any medicines that you may be taking. An examination may also be carried out to check for other conditions and complications.


Referral to an optometrist

Following your initial consultation, your GP may refer you to an optometrist for a complete eye check-up. An optometrist will use specialist equipment to confirm whether you have dry eye syndrome and/or other conditions. Optometrists can carry out a number of specific tests, including:

  • The Schirmer test
    Small strips of blotting paper are used to assess the volume of tears that your eyes produce over a 5-minute period, to see how good your tear production is
  • The Rose Bengal test
    A non-toxic dye called Rose Bengal is dropped on to the surface of your eye. The distinctive red colour of the dye allows the optometrist to see how well your tear film is functioning and how long it takes your tears to evaporate


Referral to an ophthalmologist

If the diagnosis of dry eye syndrome is uncertain or specialist tests and treatment are needed, your GP may refer you to an ophthalmologist. These are hospital doctors who specialise in eye disorders and surgery.