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May 1975

Schirmer Test of Lacrimation: Its Clinical Importance

Author Affiliations

From the Otorhinolaryngological Clinic, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, German Democratic Republic.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1975;101(5):293-295. doi:10.1001/archotol.1975.00780340025005

Lacrimation was tested by a modified Schirmer test, ie, by the soaking of strips of filter paper hooked into the lower conjunctival sac. The test is advocated for the topical diagnosis of facial-nerve lesions. Lacrimation was found to be independent of age and sex. There were, however, large inter- and intra-subject variations. Nevertheless, the difference between the two eyes of a given healthy person was much less than that between the eyes of two different persons, making the test clinically useful.

In a given patient, a bilateral difference may be assumed to be significant when the lesser value does not exceed 27% of the larger one. Such a test result is indicative of a supraganglionic facial-nerve lesion.

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