Why is corneal thickness important when testing eye pressure?

A pachymeter measures corneal thickness.
A pachymeter measures corneal thickness.

Corneal thickness is important because it can mask an accurate reading of eye pressure, causing doctors to treat you for a condition that may not really exist or to treat you unnecessarily when the pressures are normal.

Actual IOP (intraocular pressure) may be underestimated in patients with thinner CCT (corneal thickness), and overestimated in patients with thicker CCT.

This may be important to your diagnosis; some people originally diagnosed with normal tension glaucoma may in fact be more accurately treated as having regular glaucoma; others diagnosed with ocular hypertension may be better treated as normal based on accurate CCT measurement.

In light of this discovery, it is important to have your eyes checked regularly and to make sure your doctor takes your CCT into account for diagnosis.

Learn more about corneal thickness.

Learn more about glaucoma tests including pachymetry.

Last reviewed on August 23, 2012

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