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If you are a glaucoma patient, it is important for you and your doctor to monitor your intraocular pressure (IOP). Understanding how your individual pressure changes over time can help you feel confident that your treatment is working effectively.
IOP fluctuates constantly, between doctor’s visits and even throughout the day. The more frequently your IOP is measured, the better overall picture your doctor will have of your eye pressure fluctuations. This may be helpful information for measuring the effectiveness of your treatment regimen. Currently, the most common approach to getting this information is to measure your eye pressures in the clinic at different times of day over several visits. With recent advances in this field, eye pressure measurement is now feasible outside the clinic setting.
As eye pressure fluctuates, the curvature of the front part of the eye changes, which the “smart” contact lenses can measure. This signals a wireless device that records the changes and indirectly shows eye pressure changes over time, which may correspond with the progression of glaucoma. The Sensimed Triggerfish® Sensor “smart” contact lens has recently been approved in the United States by the FDA for monitoring eye pressure.
The Icare® HOME tonometer device has been available to European glaucoma patients since 2014, and is now available to patients in the United States. It uses a disposable probe to measure eye pressure, and can be used up to six times a day. The home tonometer takes six rapid IOP measurements, then calculates eye pressure, and stores it in the device’s memory. However, at this time, it's not yet clear how well patients can use the device, or what use clinicians can make of the data it provides. Our current diagnostic techniques provide adequate information for most patients. Further study will help determine the role of this new diagnostic tool.
Article reviewed by L. Jay Katz, MD. Dr. Katz is Director of the Glaucoma Service at the Wills Eye Institute and Professor of Ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He received his BA from Case Western Reserve University, his MD from Yale University School of Medicine, his ophthalmology residency training at Yale, and his glaucoma subspecialty training at Wills Eye Hospital.
Last reviewed on August 10, 2020
This article appeared in the January 2018 issue of Gleams.Subscribe