Staining with lissamine green: a guide to dry eye

August 20, 2007

Degree and pattern of staining with lissamine green is a good objective indicator of the severity of tear deficiency, according to a report published in the July issue of Eye and Contact Lens.

Degree and pattern of staining with lissamine green is a good objective indicator of the severity of tear deficiency, according to a report published in the July issue of Eye and Contact Lens.

James McCulley and colleagues from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA found that the severity of dry eye correlates with the location of stain patterns. They examined the stain patterns in 22 patients with varying degrees of dry eye and in 11 patients with ocular disease who served as controls.

The researchers found that stains limited to the whites of the eyes between the lids toward the nose do not necessarily indicate dry eye but could be caused by environmental factors such as pollution. Stains that appear in the whites of the eye towards the ear are often symptomatic of dry eye. Finally, stains that appear on the cornea indicate a break in surface cells which can lead to serious bacterial infections.

The team suggested that these guidelines may allow for earlier diagnosis, allowing clinicians to offer more treatment options and preventing disease progression.