The ability to get the most out of our patients is limited by the best that our patients can achieve. The tear film influences vision, the tear film influences the refraction, and refraction changes influence measurements for everything we do. Therefore, it only stands to reason ODs need to constantly work on the tear film. I am again making my pitch to my OD colleagues to measure the osmolarity of this critical yet small layer that affects all that we do in optometry.
Why osmolarity is important
Osmolarity is my number-one test for dry eye. I view it as the “standard of care” because it is representative of the properties of a patient’s tears and offers a strong predictive tool for the diagnosis of this refractive nemesis.
Notice I avoided calling it “dry eye.” When ODs are diagnosing changes to the tear quality, we may see alterations that precede the traditional symptoms patients and doctors associate with dry eye. This is a tear abnormality and needs a more proactive diagnostic approach.