The ophthalmologist conducts the research with the help of various equipment, a contactless tonometer, for the diagnosis of eye disease

It’s Clearly In The Liquid

The human eye is filled with clear liquid that plays a crucial role in ocular health. Aqueous humor flows in and out of the front of the eye, providing essential nutrients to the tissue there. In the back, thicker vitreous humor helps the organ maintain a spherical shape. Both of these fluids play a critical role in intraocular pressure.

Balance under pressure

Intraocular pressure is the force these fluids inside the eye exert in an outward direction. The body typically keeps internal tension at a safe balance by regulating the amount of fluid within. New aqueous humor enters the eye at regular intervals to provide fresh nutrients. Old liquid drains out a series of channels between the sclera and the iris.

Keeping tabs on IOP

An eye care specialist has the tools to measure intraocular pressure during a routine eye exam. This practice is known as tonometry. In a tonometry test, the doctor or technician momentarily flattens the cornea, or front part of the eye. The more force required to do so, the higher the eye pressure is.

Types of tonometry

Applanation tonometry is one of the most common ways to check eye pressure. Here, the physician numbs the eye with this test and gently presses a flat-tipped probe to the surface. Other methods involve using air pressure to obtain a reading.

All about the numbers

Intraocular pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The normal range for healthy eye pressure falls between 11 and 21 mm Hg. Every eye is different, but doctors will treat values above this range with more caution.

Don’t block my escape

In some individuals, drainage channels for aqueous humor can become restricted or blocked. Aqueous humor can no longer exit as intended, leading to excess fluid inside the eye. The buildup can lead to ocular hypertension, or high pressure inside the eye.

You’re too high up

Over time, this elevated tension can push on other ocular components. Glaucoma develops when intraocular pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, the main thoroughfare sending images to the brain. Any damage done to the optic nerve by glaucoma is irreversible at this time.

No signs of glaucoma anywhere

Glaucoma usually begins without any symptoms at all. Only when vision starts to fade are patients made aware of the problem. The disease often consumes peripheral sight before working inward. If left unchecked, glaucoma can cause complete blindness over time.

Doctors know best

The best way to prevent the effects of glaucoma is through regular visits to an eye doctor. The physician can perform tonometry tests to check for signs of the disease. Should ocular hypertension exist, a plan can be put in place to bring pressures back down to a safe level.

A method to the madness

In most cases, patients start using eye drops to prevent glaucoma from appearing. These drops either reduce aqueous humor production or help reopen clogged drainage channels. When medications aren’t enough, laser procedures or surgical options are available to treat the problem at the source.