When you go to the eye doctor, some doctors will perform a test where they blow a small puff of air into your eye to test your intraocular pressure (IOP). This is called non-contact tonometry. Most people don’t like this test because it startles them and it makes their eyes water. Here, at Choice Eye Center, we don’t use the puff test. Instead, we use the icare tonometry, which is much softer than the puff test. Our doctor, along with other experts, believe this test is more accurate for tracking intraocular pressure. The icare tonometry is performed by using a tiny plastic probe bouncing on your eye several times to read the pressure of your eye. It will then calculate the average pressure reading as the final eye pressure results. Most people describe the feeling of this test as a light tickling of the eye.
Another option for finding the IOP that is sometimes used is The Goldman’s Test. In this test the doctor will first numb the patient's eye and then apply fluorescein, which is a dye, that will help illuminate the eye during the test. After the eye is numb, the doctor will turn the blue light on and bring the Goldman probe in contact with the eye. The doctor will then look through the biomicroscope (slit lamp) at the eye to find the correct measurement and record it in your chart. A high pressure will indicate further testing and possibly glaucoma. A low pressure is called ocular hypotony and can cause blurred vision.
Every time you see your eye doctor you should have at least one of these tests done to track changes in your intraocular pressure to ensure that you get proper care quickly. This is just one of the many reasons you should get your eyes checked every year. (Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma.org)