I basically diagnose dry eye on history, medications, and looking at the patient. Just mentioning that you have dry eye is usually enough for a good dry eye doctor. Testing is great, but most testing is new so it is not like every doctor will have that, and I do not rely on any specific dry eye testing. I rely on what I see and what I hear from the patient. When I look at their eye, I look for inflammation, redness, irritation in general, and then I ask them about diet.
I think it is more what they need to be asking you rather than what you need to be asking them. So, if you say that you have dry eyes and you are wondering where it is coming from or what caused it, they need to be asking you questions. They need to be asking questions about your diet, medications that you are on, previous eye surgeries, and stress. All of that could really help nail down what is causing it. Of course there are tests out there that can be run, but there are not really a lot of them that I see as incredibly necessary.
If you get a doctor that tells you to use artificial tears, run for the hills. There are much better things out there. There is no reason to use artificial tears, except for symptom relief. It does not really address the problem. Artificial tears just cover up the problem. Do we give artificial tears out? Occasionally, just for symptom relief. For the most part they should be recommending diet control, exercise, hydration, and then addressing the inflammation versus just covering it up.
Dr. Jenna Zigler and Dr. Travis Zigler
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