Schirmer’s test determines the amount of tears produced by the eyes. It’s a test that an ophthalmologist usually performs when a patient experiences a very dry eye or excessive watering of the eyes.

A very straightforward test, it is carried out by placing a strip of filter paper in the temporal canthus of the conjunctival sac in the lower eyelid. This strip stays on the patient’s eye for 5 minutes or until it is completely wet if this happens to occur in under five minutes. This technique measures the patient’s basic tear function. If the result is above 10mm, then the patient is given a double dose of anaesthetic drops, we wait for 10 minutes, then then test is repeated. This prevents the potential stimulating effect of placing the paper strip and obtains the result of eye’s basal tear function.

Olga Riera, Visual Function Department