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Can You Check Your Own Eye Pressure?

The majority of people with glaucoma could successfully test their own eye pressure with the proper tool and training.

When you visit the eye doctor for a routine checkup, a key part of the exam is checking intraocular pressure. That’s to test for glaucoma. This is especially important for patients who have been diagnosed with elevated eye pressure. High pressure inside the eye can harm the optic nerve and interfere with vision.

Checking Eye Pressure at Home:

While many people are accustomed to measuring their own blood pressure with a home monitor, few if any glaucoma patients have measured their own eye pressure. A recent study of 100 individuals with glaucoma found, however, that the majority could do so successfully if they received training in the ophthalmologist’s office. As part of the training, the patients received a special tonometer to use for this purpose.

Keeping an Eye on Glaucoma:

The investigators point out that self-measurement of eye pressure would allow patients and their eye doctors a better understanding of how their glaucoma was progressing. This, in turn, would facilitate better control of the condition over time.

JAMA Ophthalmology, online, Aug 31, 2017

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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