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Schirmer Test results (Dry Eyes)


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#1 sandra

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 01:58 AM

Yesterday I had the Schirmer eye test done (dry eyes). First the doctor put two different drops in each eye to numb and dilate. After a couple of minutes he put a 1/2 inch narrow strip of testing paper on the white of my eye, timed it 5 minutes, then removed it, He said Normal results paper should be all wet, Of course WE almost never get Normal results- Right? My wet spot was the size of a grain of sugar!He said he never saw a result this dry, and prescribed special eye drops and booked for further testing. I just mentioned how my mouth is dry too, even though he's an eye doctor (2 teeth broke this month) he thinks these symptoms are somehow related, Ya think! Test is pain free, just weird,and blurry vision for 2 hours,which doesn't make for easy driving! I will post the next test results after they are done. Its all quite comical, you go to the doctor saying you have dry eyes and you come home confirmed dry eyes- Hmm maybe I should have just napped instead.

Keep happy!

Yackatchaz soon,

Sandra

#2 smac0719

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:12 AM

A nap is always good and it's good to confirm what you already know as well so you can begin treatment. Hopefully the drops will work well for you. I use Restasis, but have the bad habit of not using it when my eyes aren't "feeling" dry so I do what I call the "start and stop syndrome". I know that's not good and am really trying to do better.
I may have Scleroderma, but Scleroderma doesn't have me!

#3 mando621

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 01:46 AM

Hi Sandra,

I've had the Schirmer test 3 times now. Two times with anesthesia drops and once without. The nurse threw the strips out from the last test, the doctor was frustrated with that since he couldn't confirm what she wrote down. I don't think they had much if any moisture on them. The nurse wrote down less than 3mm. for each eye which is under the 4 and 6 I had last time.

I was the third patient in my clinic to be prescribed Restasis. I only forget the drops once in a great while because they do help so much. This is one medication that I actually remember to take and make a point to use. I can't stand many of the otc eye drops since the ingredients in them bother my eyes.

I have refused to have a lip biopsy to confirm Sjogren's at this point. The doctors say that it won't change my treatment so what is the point?

The time without drops wasn't painless! I do have to try to use my natural birth techniques of mentally going somewhere else during the test.

Mando.

#4 amberjolie

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 02:06 AM

I just had the lip biopsy thing done this week, only because my mouth seemed to be DRIER than normal (and tears didn't seem to be quite as forthcoming as they used to be), but not terribly dry. But of course, about a week before it was done, didn't my mouth start feeling nice and wet again! So maybe mine was just from medication or something. But I figured I might as well get it done anyway, so I can confirm for sure if there's anything starting up there.

#5 sandra

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 02:31 AM

Hi Mando,
I can't imagine having the Schirmer Eye test without the numbing eye drops! The little paper thingy stuck to my eyeball ,mine were sooo dry and I felt it while he pulled it off even numbed!
And why not get the Biopsy? If the doctor mentioned it , my advice is "Go do it" It can tell a whole lot about your tissue, Have you read "Amberjolie" and her lip biopsy, I haved poked her to let us know her results,Do you have any rashy red spots on your lip or eyes? or in your mouth?
Anyway, Think about it OK.
Sandra

#6 sandra

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 02:44 AM

Hi, Smac
I too only use the drops when my eyes are screaming, so after reading your post, I went and put the drops in thinking I did,nt need it cause my eyes felt normal, so I gave it a squirt anyway, and WHOLLY CAMOLI, It was a surprise to me! Here I thought they were feelin good and that squirt made me realize the big difference! So now I am faithful and use the drops often, Ohhhh feels so good, even when you don't think you need it, Ya probably do, Try it when you think you don't need it You will see! And I noticed when I find myself blinking and closing my eyes for too long (like 2-3 seconds) to get moisture releif, I now run for my Squirt!
Thanks Smac ,You woke me up , now I am shakin YOU! Go squirt!
Smiles n Chuckles ,Sandra

#7 Deb1million

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 07:09 AM

I can sympathise with all the dry eyes, etc. I use my eye drops night and morning, also in the middle of the night if I have to get up, as I can't get my eyelids open as they seem to be stuck to my eyeballs! ouch! Ive even carry drops in my handbag for when Im out on a windy day.

And as for when I used to wear contact lenses - forget it! They only go in for special occasios, then I keep topping my eyes up with so many drops it looks like Im crying!

Ive been battling dry mouth by having more gravy/sauce on my food, which is not helping my waistline!!! Or it could be the meds! We can't win, can we ladies?! :lol:

#8 sandra

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 01:22 PM

Hi Deb1million, Sandra calling,
Dry Mouth thingy, what I do is Chew sugarless Gum, it works, hey Deb, and you can blow bubbles too!
Did you win a lottery? I am pretty nosey...
Sandra

#9 Penny

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 01:42 PM

Even though my ANA was negative for Sjogrens, a lip biopsy came back a screaming positive... personally I think my body is just being contrary as usual.

When it came to the Schirmer test, that was an experience and a half since local anesthestics have diminished or no effect on me, so even though they used the numbing drops I felt the paper and still had a reading of 3 and 3.

I will say that the lip biopsy (even though uncomfortable for me since I felt the whole thing, but my case is not typical at all and most people have no pain at all with it except for having to watch out for acidic foods and drinks for a day or two) is probably the best thing you can do for yourself to get a definitave answer.

#10 smac0719

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 01:44 PM

Sandra,

It is too funny that I am reading this post right now because I just felt the need to use my drops. So I will have you know that I have been shakin, but not stirred :D . Drops are in and I will do better.

I may have Scleroderma, but Scleroderma doesn't have me!

#11 northendpoet

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 04:53 AM

Sooooo interestingSooooo interesting, this dry eye thing. I tried contacts last year. My eyes were so dry I had to go to super permeable and then they stuck to my eyes, too. Hurts trying to get a contact off that's stuck like glue to a dry eyeball... Can any eye doctor run this test? I bet I should get some drops instead of just living with sandpaper eyes. You know, though, my nose is a desert, too. I thought the increase in dryness might the blood pressure medication because I got drier when I started taking it. But looking back, I started taking it because my blood pressure shot through the roof, my stomach quit working and my joint pain went from a 3 to a 8 most days! Hmmmm.... maybe this eye test would be enlightening! And the drops would feel good, I'll bet. I've tried some OTC drops and they don't feel good.

You are all a wealth of information. Thanks!!!! :fairy: (This is me sending blessings and a good belly laugh to all of us!)

Northend Poet
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#12 betty32506

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:23 PM

My eyes and mouth are somewhat dry. They have been worse at times which I thought was meds. My nose and sinus are very dry. I got sores in my mouth so bad until it made eating difficult and mouth hygiene impossible. I could not find a toothpaste that did not burn until I found one for kids. That was a little better. I asked my general practitioner and a dentist without help. Then at my rheumatologist I asked her. Quickly she said Sjogrens and gave me a script for Evoxac. That has helped some. Today the roof of my mouth is very sore. A few days ago I went to an ENT and he said it looks like Sjogrens. The only diagnostics I have had was blood labs. I wondered at her quick diagnosis....and why didn't the dentist know. My general practitioner says the
rheumatologist specializes in Sjogrens. Another forum I am on says I should have the lip biopsy and the eye test as that is the gold standard for a legal diagnosis. I don't have any reason for a legal diagnosis that I know of. I don't see a reason for the tests. What do you think?

Betty

#13 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 01:45 PM

Hi Betty,

If you have symptoms plus positive blood work for Sjogren's, why would you need anything else? If your rheumatologist is satisfied, and if you are being treated for it, why bother doing anything more that you don't have to do?

The Schirmer's test is very fast, easy and non-invasive. They just put a tiny piece of special paper in your eye for a few minutes and then read how much moisture (tears) is deposited on the paper.

I've had the lip biopsy. It is not without pain, it is very invasive, it hurts to eat for at least a week, and it would expose you to the possibility of infection. So, why? To appease some people on another forum? (For me, I had to appease my doctor, because I had a very confusing set of overlapping symptoms, and that is another issue altogether.)

The "gold standards" refer to what the doctors use to determine who is eligible to participate in clinical trials. Not everyone with every illness undergoes all the testing to meet up with the "gold standard". Nor, in my humble non-medical opinion, should they.

At a certain point, doctors should be able to make reasonable clinical diagnosis, per the guidelines, without subjecting you to unnecessary, expensive or invasive testing.

I'd say, if your rheumatologist says you have Sjogren's, that means, you have Sjogren's. And you don't need to listen to anybody else, on any other forum, if they say the contrary -- because, get this, they are not YOUR doctor.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#14 betty32506

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 05:52 AM

I had the Schirmer's test long before I knew anything about any of this stuff. I remember it, don't recall it being painful nor what the results. For years the eye doctor's have told me I had dry eyes. The last few years I have had work done by the opthalmologist. Last time I saw him, but before the rheumatologist said Sjogren's, I asked him if I had dry eyes. He said I do but the extent of it was not specified. I will be more specific next time I see him. The Piroxicam the rheumatologist gave me the eye doctor said to not take.

Can someone tell me which labs are done to indicate dry eyes?

Betty

#15 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 07:19 AM

Hi Betty,

As I understand it (and here again, bear in mind that I am not even licensed to take my own temperature!) it is just the Schirmer's test to indicate dry eyes. That is mainly because it wouldn't matter if you had antibodies if you're eyes had normal moisture; and on the flip side, if your eyes are too dry, it doesn't matter if you don't have the antibodies.

You might want to consider specifying that you want an official Schirmer's test the next time you see an opthalmologist, and be sure to tell them you need a copy of the results to take with you, as well. That way, you can hand in the results to your doctor/rheumatologist and so forth.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#16 mando621

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 12:23 PM

Yay Shelley!!

I won't get the lip biopsy because you can tell that I have all the symptoms of Sjogrens by examination. Dry eyes, dry mouth yet not as dry as some may have, dry down below, dry nose, etc.... Shirmer's test was 4, 6 and now is less than 3 in each eye.

I have burning mouth which is idopathic, could be neuropathy related. I've heard of people who go for the lip biopsy, only to not get a salivary gland and it ends up inconclusive even after undergoing the procedure. I have had enough surgeries and I don't want to submit to voluntary surgery unless it would greatly change my treatment. Since I am having my symptoms treated, I don't think the biopsy would add anything else to what is already being done for me.

Mando.