As part of your comprehensive eye exam, we check the pressure of your eye, the Intraocular Pressure (IOP). This test, called tonometry, is one way to see if you are at risk for glaucoma. Regular screenings are a simple way to monitor your eye health. Early detection is essential in the treatment of glaucoma, since many times there are no symptoms with increased pressure, unless it is sudden.
UNDERSTANDING EYE PRESSURE:
Inside the eye, there is a cycle of fluid production and fluid drainage. This fluid, in the front part of your eye, is called the the aqueous humor. The aqueous humor nourishes your eye and helps it to keep its shape. If this cycle is out of balance, and more fluid is produced than is able to drain effectively, IOP increases. Over time, this Increased eye pressure may cause damage to the optic nerve. A general guideline for normal eye pressure is between 10 and 21 mm/hg.
HOW WE MEASURE EYE PRESSURE:
In our office, we measure eye pressure by instilling a drop that numbs your eye. Using a blue light, we then use an applanation tonometer that gently touches the surface of your eye. This painless test is a very effective way of measuring your pressure. It is helpful for the patient to relax and breathe normally while we perform this test.
Although there are many other ways of measuring eye pressure, many people are familiar with the “puff of air test”. This test, called non-contact tonometry, uses a rapid air pulse to flatten the cornea. Your pressure is measured by detecting the force of the air against your eye. Although we don’t use this process, often when we ask patients them to “put your chin in the chin rest and forehead against the band” they worry we are going to puff air at them. They don’t seem to like it!
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of comprehensive eye exams. It is especially important to have an eye exam if you have a family history of eye disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. The best way to protect your vision is to come in for an exam, where Dr. Moran will evaluate your risk for disease and advise you of the optimal schedule of visits to protect your eye health.
Schedule your exam today, by calling our office at 610-628-2022, or by filling out the form on the website.