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If you have gritty, sore eyes, you may be one of the millions of people suffering from dry eye. Diagnosing dry eye involves asking a number of questions as well as performing a series of tests to determine the cause. The results of these will help your practitioner design the best treatment plan. Tears help to lubricate and protect the eye. There are a number of reasons why you may be experiencing dry eye. A common reason for dry eye is insufficient production of tears. However, quality of tears plays an important role in dry eye. Your practitioner can measure the quantity of tears using a thread or paper test. The amount of drying may also be assessed using staining tests that identify areas on your eye that are drying out and damaging the surface of your eyes. In order to assess the quality of tears, your practitioner will evaluate a thin layer of oil that reduces the evaporation of tears. The oil is produced by small glands in the eyelids. Careful examination of the lid margins to identify blockages and the amount of functioning glands will help to determine if you have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) which is the single biggest cause of dry eye. Your practitioner may also take a tiny sample of tears to measure the salt concentration. This can help determine the severity of dry eye and help in measuring the effect of treatments. Once the cause of dry eye has been established, there are a number of treatments that can keep the symptoms of dry eye to a minimum. Ask about our dry eye plan.