Intraocular Pressure - Part 3
As a follow-up to my blog on January 4, I wanted to mention one other thing on eye pressure. You would think that anything that’s called pressure would cause you some discomfort, pain, or awareness if it was high. The reality is that your eye pressure has to reach roughly 45 or above before most people will even have discomfort. Therefore, if one of our doctors tells you your eye pressure is up, and the measurement is 21, I can definitely tell you that high eye pressure is not the cause of the aching in your forehead or the back of your eyes. Aching around the eyes may be due to sinus problems or other inflammatory causes. Eye pressure becomes very important to us when a diagnosis of glaucoma is made or when someone has chronically high eye pressure over time. We have excellent national and international studies that tell us once you’re diagnosed with glaucoma, that we can minimize your risk by putting you on medicine to lower the eye pressure. Another study shows that high eye pressure can be a risk factor for glaucoma if it’s combined with other clinical findings that we observe. Our minimum protocol for glaucoma suspects is to have their eye pressure checked once per year. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, our minimum protocols demand eye pressure checks two (2) times per year. As always, email me or call us if you have questions.
Posted on 01/17/2014 4:15 PM by Dr. Susan Kegarise
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on 01/02/2014 1:01 PM by Dr. Susan Kegarise