Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tear Osmolarity Part II: Choosing the Right Artificial Tear

Have you ever looked at all of the choices of artificial tears and other eye wetting stuff in the pharmacies in Cleveland? Pretty confusing, isn't it?! What's the difference? IS there a difference? How do doctors know which one to suggest?

Not only can TEAR OSMOLARITY, the measurement of how "salty" your tears are, help in making the diagnosis of certain types of dry eye syndrome, but it can also help the eye doctor choose which type of tear is best for you and your particular symptoms. Not all artificial tears are the same, and certain general types will be more appropriate in certain situations.

One way to put dry eye into different categories is to separate LOW TEAR PRODUCTION from TEAR EVAPORATION. This can be done by simply looking at your tears and measuring things like the amount of tears you have, or how long your tears stay smooth on the front of the eye. But these two things have lots of overlap. For example, some times low tear production can cause tear evaporation!

Here's where the tear osmolarity test from TEARLAB comes in. Internal findings made by Dr. Darrell White have shown that your symptoms can be effectively treated if we choose the type of artificial tear based on your osmolarity results. In other words, if you have both a low tear level AND a fast tear evaporation, the primary cause is likely to be found in the osmolarity test! For example, if your osmolarity is HIGH, poor tear production is probably what came first.

Make sure to check back here for more information on what tear products we suggest you use based on your TEAR OSMOLARITY results!

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