Rose Bengal

As some may know, I’ve only recently been diagnosed with SS. My labs are all negative. It was found through salivary biopsy.

My rheumatologist wants me to have a Rose Bengal test. Have any of you ever had one? I ask LOTS of questions. I cannot figure out quite why he wants it.

I asked if the salivary biopsy was definitive - in that I definitely have SS. He said yes. I asked what information the Rose Bengal would provide. He said it would be further confirmation of SS. He said that it is more reliable than a Schirmer test.

There is only one opthamologist in AL who does it. I have to drive 2.5 hrs.

If the biopsy is definitive, I’m not sure why we need the additional test.

Anyway, I’m interested in others’ experiences with the test.


I have not had the test. Have you tried the eye foundation in Birmingham to see if they do it? I also live in AL.

Thanks, purplebutterfly.

According to my rheumatologist and opthamologist, B’ham is the only place they do it in AL.

I live I Huntsville so it’s a bit of a drive for me.

My opthamologist, who is a specialist for dry eyes, did the Rose Bengal test. I had no problem with it and she thought the test was necessary to assess my eyes properly. Sorry you have to drive so far to get it. Jaycee

Thanks, Jaycee. Maybe I can make a day of it. Museum, good grub, eye test, done. :slight_smile:

What is involved when they do the Rose Bengal test?

This is from Wikipedia. “The rose bengal test measures state and function of the lacrimal glands. This test involves placing the nontoxic dye rose bengal on the eyes. The dye’s distinctive colour helps in determining the state and functioning of tear film and the rate of tear evaporation. Any distinctive colour change observed will be indicative of Sjögren’s syndrome, but many related diagnostic tools will be used to confirm the condition of Sjögren’s syndrome.”ögren%27s_syndrome

The nurse said that some people experience burning, discomfort, etc. My appt is in a couple of weeks. I’ll update once it’s done to share the experience.

I'm laughing out loud, because I was trying to figure out what brucellosis had to do with SS. The Rose Bengal test is used to test aborted cow fetuses.....................

I don't understand WHY they have you driving hours for the test. I called my niece who is an opthmalogist tech, and she tells me they do it routinely as a screening test on nearly every patient through their door. Simply put they put a drop of dye in your eye, if the white turns purple (rose colored actually) you have a dry eye with a break down of your tears. There are many reasons for it, Not sure why they think its an SS test. There ore others the opthamologists due that are more specific................. Maybe they just mentioned Rose Bengal as a part of a broader work-up? Let us know I'm really curios. Oh about the cow thing, the lab I worked for did a lot of Brusellosis research.

Birmingham Alabama is the place where the eye hospital is. My parents are up in Phil Campbell and they have the same issue. Real problem when she suffered a complication from her cataract surgery. The local hospitals nor the local eye doc were equipped to see her. They had to jump in the car and drive the whole 2 hours back down to B'ham. Welcome to the rural states. LOL Roll Tide!!!!

Oh and the cow thing….eeewwwwww. LOL :)

Maybe if I was a sports fan I could find a local dr to do the test. They kinda shun those of us who are unaffiliated.

Ugh, I hear it….its worse than the Mets and Yankees up here.

What does this Rose Bengal test entail? I am 99.9% sure of the SS Dx and am living with it, but I also have a worse chronic disease that is still flaring so it can be tedious for sure.

Sorry your dealing with a flare. Hope it passes quickly. If you look back a few posts in this thread. I put some info and a link to what the Rose Bengal test is.