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Intraocular Pressure (IOP) - Part 2

Intraocular pressure varies from day to day, from morning to evening and even with the type of instrument used to measure the pressure. Recently we found that an individual patient’s corneal thickness will cause a variance in the measured eye pressure versus actual “inside the eye” pressure. If that all sounds confusing, it’s not meant to be, but what it means is that one pressure reading doesn’t constitute a diagnosis. Typically we will monitor eye pressure at various times of the day and over many evaluations to look for a trend in pressure. When someone has a higher eye pressure or other risk factors that make them suspicious for glaucoma, we may order a diurnal curve. Diurnal essentially means through the day. This means that we will check your eye pressure at 8:00 in the morning, at midday, and at the end of the day and we will see how much variance it has throughout a given day. This is very helpful. Most people will have a higher eye pressure in the morning. If we’re watching the eye pressure, it’s important for us to know when your individual eye pressure is high. There are limitations on this as you might imagine. For instance, we still miss the person whose eye pressure peaks at midnight. We have not been very successful in having many people come in for diurnal intraocular pressure checks all through the evening. Quite frankly, we haven’t been very successful in having doctors who want to measure it at that time either!

Our minimum standards ask for glaucoma suspects to have their eye pressure checked once per year.  If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, our minimum protocols require two (2) times per year. As always, please call or email us with questions:

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