The Schirmer’s test is used determine if your tear glands produce enough tears to keep your eyes adequately moist. Calibrated strips of a non-toxic filter paper are used. One free end is placed within your lower eyelid. Both eyes are tested at the same time. Before the test, you may be given numbing eye drops to prevent your eyes from tearing due to irritation from the paper. You will be asked to keep your eyes gently closed for 5 minutes. At the conclusion of the test, the paper strips are removed from each lower eyelid and the amount of wetting of the paper strips is measured.
Wetting of less than 5 mm is indicative of deficient tear production, but is not necessarily diagnostic of Sjögren’s syndrome. The results need to be correlated with other findings on the eye exam in order to determine if you have a dry eye syndrome.