A new device can measure intraocular pressure more accurately at home. This is a big step forward in the treatment of glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, affecting an estimated 79.6 million people globally. Unfortunately with glaucoma any vision lost is irreversible, making early detection and treatment vital. Currently, it is thought that 50% of people with glaucoma remain undetected.
People with glaucoma can lose their peripheral vision over time, as a result of progressive damage to the optic nerve. There are many risk factors for developing glaucoma, including age, a family history of glaucoma and being of African or Asian descent. Raised intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of the most well recognized risk factors for glaucoma. It is also the only parameter which eye specialists can alter, using eye drops, laser treatment or surgery.
When you visit your Optometrist or Ophthalmologist, the IOP will be measured with a machine called a tonometer. This means that, for most people, their eye pressure will be measured once or twice a year and only during the day time. Studies however have shown that single office measurements of IOP do not adequately depict the degree of fluctuation in IOP throughout the day.
The iCare Home is a new handheld tonometer designed to allow people to accurately measure their own IOP at home. With this device, people with glaucoma and those who are suspected to have glaucoma, can measure their eye pressure multiple times over a 7 day period. With these measurements health professionals can monitor fluctuations in eye pressure. This allows accurate detection of glaucoma and rapid assessment of the effectiveness of the treatment.