Intraocular pressure (IOP) is a key piece of information in both the diagnosis and management of glaucoma. Intraocular pressure is not something that can be felt, unless it is extremely high, and needs to be measured to tell what it is.
IOP is always measured indirectly and through the cornea. There are a number of different techniques for doing so, but the most common one that we use is the Goldmann Applanation Tonometer. These are calibrated devices that are used on slit lamps in the office, and represent the “gold standard” for measuring pressure.
We also have a handheld device, known as the Perkins tonometer, as well as a Rebound tonometer, known as the “ICare”.
We also have a home tonometer system (a version of the ICare) which we use on certain patients with very variable intraocular pressures.
In special circumstances, we will use the Pascal dynamic contour tonometer, which can be useful with coexisting corneal disease.
All four methods of measuring IOP are available in our offices.
All intraocular pressure measurements are a one point in time and need to be considered in the overall scheme and risk. Intraocular pressure measurements are quite variable in the individual and across populations, so a pressure may be fine for one person and not for another.
Treatment in glaucoma is aimed at lowering the intraocular pressure, and thus lowering the stress on the nerve at the back of the eye.