Tear production test before lower bleph?

How is this test preformed and is it very uncomfortable? My surgeon is requiring it for lower blepharoplasty- is this normal?

Doctor Answers 7

Test for dry eyes prior to blepharoplasty procedure

There is a tear production test that can be performed before upper or lower blepharoplasty which is performed usually an ophthalmologist office.  It is  called a Schirmer's test that involves placing a small paper strip in the eyelid measuring how fast it takes to absorb tears on that small strip of paper.  This  is a painless procedure.  Its best to know how dry the eyes really are before undergoing elective cosmetic surgery 

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Schirmer's Test

The Schirmer's or Tear Production test is a helpful piece of information before a blepharoplasty in a patient who either has a history or potential dry eye symptoms.  Some physical findings also put you at risk for this problem after eyelid surgery.  The test is very simple and painless. It involves putting a paper strip inside the lid and measuring how much tear fluid is produced over a period of time. Although not a perfect test, it is helpful to know if you are at risk for dry eyes before having eyelid surgery.  Best wishes!

Tear Production and Blepharoplasty

One of the concerns with blepharoplasty is that is can make a dry eye drier. A schirmer test should be done for any patient who has a risk of dry eyes before lower eyelid surgery is performed. It is not uncomfortable and the fact that your surgeon is requesting it shows that he or she is doing a complete work up.

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

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Tear production test

A tear production test, called a Schimer's, measures your tear production over a period of time (several minutes). The test is performed by placing a small strip of paper in each lower eyelid pocket, having the patient close his/her eyes, and measuring the tear production after a specific period of time. Often the test is performed after topical anesthetic drops have been instilled in the eyes. The test is not invasive, not uncomfortable and is part of a work-up for dry eyes. Many oculoplastic surgeons will perform this test prior to eyelid surgery. Good luck!

Katherine Zamecki, MD, FACS
Danbury Oculoplastic Surgeon

Tear production test

Hi there,  The test for tear production is called the Schirmer's test. Basically, a small strip of filter paper is placed in the lower eyelid to measure moisture. The whole test takes less than 5 minutes and if necessary numbing drops are placed in the eyes to make the test more comfortable. If you have a history of dry eyes, I think it is very smart to do the test before proceeding with eyelid surgery. Moisture and tears in the eyes protect the eye from getting too dry and developing a scratchy sensation in your eyes or even ulcers in the eyes.Hope this information helps! Good luckDr. Myriam Loyo 

Myriam Loyo, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Dry eye test before lower eyelid surgery

There are several tests for dry eyes available. The newer ones are more accurate and there is no discomfort.

Byron A. Long, MD
Marietta Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Tear production test before lower bleph?

There are also a number of other tests that can be performed and your eye doctor might offer you an alternative to the Schirmer's test.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.