the schirmers test is a test done to diagnose dry eyes which can occur due to a whole hell lot of reasons.it is also called tear test. if the paper is dry even after 15 minutes it indicates sjogren syndrome which is one of the causes of dry eyes . but has to be confirmed . Dry eyes or lack of sufficient tear production, is a common eye problem in the Middle East. It could be due to very trivial cause like staying inside an air-conditioned room poor humidification, prolong reading or working on the computer with lack of adequate blinking or due to poor lid hygiene. It can also be due to more serious eye problems due to various diseases like, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, Systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile chronic arthritis, polymyositis and thyroiditis. Chronic use of antihistaminic for cold and allergy can also cause dry eyes. The tear film consists of three layers, the top one is the oily layer, the bottom one is the mucous layer and in between is the water layer. Poor lid hygiene leads to the blockage of the oil producing glands in the lids and subsequent excessive evaporation of the tear film due to lack of oil protection over the water layer. There are conditions of the eye when the mucous layer is defective such as Vitamin A deficiency and ocular pemphigus. Sometime chemical burns, especially alkali burns (e.g. drain cleaner, ammonia containing cleaning agents etc.) The most common symptoms of dry eyes are irritation, itching, foreign body sensation, burning, presence of stringy mucous discharge, transient blurring of vision, intolerance to sunlight and heavy feeling over the eyelids.
SOMETIMES THIS TEST CAN ALSO BE APPLIED TO TEST THE FACIAL NERVE AS THE PARASYMPATHETIC SUPPLY (SECRETOMOTOR FIBRES) TO THE LACRIMAL GLAND IS THRU THE FACIAL NERVE.