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December 1973

A Simple Taste Test for Lacrimal Obstruction

Author Affiliations

Brooklyn, NY
From the Division of Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery, Downstate Medical Center, State University of New York, Brooklyn.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1973;90(6):435-436. doi:10.1001/archopht.1973.01000050435003

A simple diagnostic test has been developed for the evaluation of the patency of the lacrimal excretory system. A 1% saccharin solution was instilled in the conjunctival cul-de-sac and then tasted by the patient when it reached the oropharynx; this painless and effective test was performed in a study using 100 subjects. The average time lapse between instillation and tasting was 3 ½ minutes. Hopefully, this sweetness-tasting test will be used to identify lacrimal obstruction problems. The test is physiological and reliable. It has proved clinically useful in diagnosing epiphora.