Okay, as doctors we get to use some very interesting equipment. Some of it is solidly based on Industrial Revolution-era tech, like choosing lens A or B for better vision. Some of it is nanotechnology!!!
Now in the Loop and Andersonville: TearLab
We are using TearLab Osmolarity System to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). This device uses nanotechnology to accurately assess tear film osmolarity. Increased osmolarity is a widely recognized marker for DES.
For everyone who is not a medical geek, this means when you have DES, the inflammatory cells increase in the tears. Because tears contain proteins and lipids, they become thicker when less liquid is present. In other words they have a higher osmolarity!
TearLab has been very useful in differentiating patients with minor dry eye versus patients who have a disease condition that must be treated. It significantly helps us monitor how effective DES treatment is.
So, come in for a 21st Century test and try to use your new vocabulary word (osmolarity) in the conversation with your doctor!