Health Watch — The Eyes Have It: Detecting Dry Eye

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

 This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about advances in eye care. Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common eye problems, and if it isn’t treated, it can lead to vision loss. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found a way to detect potential dry eye problems earlier.

A few properly placed drops of an eye stain that shows damaged cells on the surface of the eye under special lighting can give doctors valuable information. Dr. James McCulley, chairman of ophthalmology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the pattern of damage gives a good indication of how severe the tear deficiency is. The more commonly used stain doesn’t show the earliest stage of damage. Early detection of dry eye not only helps doctors treat it before it leads to vision damage, but could also be important for diagnosing other problems. Dry eye may be a symptom of lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, so this test could help diagnose those diseases.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in eyes (ophthalmology). 


April 2008

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