Original Article

Is it Possible to Shorten the Duration of Schirmer Test I?


  • Ömer Faruk Recep

Received Date: 10.10.2011 Accepted Date: 11.06.2012 Turk J Ophthalmol 2012;42(5):355-358


Schirmer test I is commonly used in the diagnosis of dry eye, but its longer duration is a major problem in crowded clinics. In this study, Schirmer tests shorter than 5 minutes were compared with the results of 5-min Schirmer test.

Ma­te­ri­al and Met­hod:

In this study, 540 eyes of 270 patients having dry eye symptoms were evaluated. Those patients having lid abnormalities were not included in the study. The measurements were performed in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th minutes using 5x37 mm Whatman No. 41 test papers. The results were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s test. Then probable wetting values were calculated for every minute and the results were compared with 5-min results.


Of the cases, 214 were female and 56 were male. The mean age was 57.62 years (range: 12-90 years, standard deviation: 14.35). We could not find any statistical significance among the measurements performed every minute (p>0.05). We found statistically significant difference between the measurements performed in the 1st and 3rd minutes, 1st and 4th minutes, and 1st and 5th minutes ( p<0,05). The same tests were applied to the cases having 9 mm or below Schirmer test results at the end of 5 minutes and the only statistical significance was found between the measurement taken in the 1st and 4th minutes (p<0.05). The probable dry eye values in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th minutes were compared with the result of 5th minute and the nearest values were obtained in the 2nd-minute measurements. Out of 114 dry eye cases according to 5-min results, 87 (76.32%) were detected at the end of 2-min test.


The values obtained in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th minutes did not correspond to the Schirmer test result obtained in the 5th minute. If the results obtained in the early minutes were regarded as correct, a lot of dry eye patients could not be diagnosed. So, we found inappropriate to shorten the duration of Schirmer test I. (Turk J Ophthalmol 2012; 42: 355-8)

Keywords: Schirmer test I, dry eye

Full Text (Turkish)