The most important objective dry eye test is TBUT with fluorescein, ODs say

July 24, 2019
Gretchyn M. Bailey, NCLC, FAAO, Editor in Chief, Content Channel Director

In a poll fielded on the Optometry Times website, we asked ODs what objective test for dry eye they think is the most important.

View the poll here

A total of 265 responses were tallied. The multiple-choice poll answers included:
• Conjunctival staining
• Corneal staining
• MMP-9
• Meibography
• Meibography gland expression
• Non-invasive tear film break-up time
• Phenol red thread test
• Schirmer
• Tear osmolarity
• Tear film break-up time with fluorescein

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In first place-but not overwhelmingly so-is tear film break-up time with fluorescein as the most important objective dry eye test with 33 percent of respondents making this choice.

After a sharp drop, corneal staining was second choice. Only 17 percent of respondents think it’s the most important objective test.

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Third and fourth place were close: 12 percent of ODs think tear osmolarity testing is most important, and 11 percent think non-invasive tear break-up time is.

Conjunctival staining comes in fifth with 9 percent of respondents.

Schirmer hits the sixth spot with 7 percent of ODs thinking it is most important.

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Meibography follows in seventh place (5 percent).

Tied for last as the most important objective dry eye test are MMP-9  and phenol red thread test with 1 percent of respondents.

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