Measurement of intraocular pressure and corneal thickness

The measurement of intraocular pressure is very important. The reason: Too high intraocular pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve, the nerve fiber layer and the retinal ganglion cell thickness. The upper normal limit for intraocular pressure is 21 mmHg. This limit value was defined from average values of intraocular pressure in the population and statistical deviations, so-called standard deviation. The intraocular pressure is therefore different for each person and is subject to certain daily fluctuations. However, intraocular pressure values higher than 21 mmHg can always be an indication of glaucoma. In that case, further investigation should be done. We can therefore answer the question of whether it makes sense to measure intraocular pressure with a resounding yes.

Therefore, the measurement of intraocular pressure and corneal thickness belong together

If such elevated intraocular pressure is suspected, measurement of corneal thickness is also recommended. In fact, intraocular pressure is measured at the corneal surface. The devices used for intraocular pressure measurement assume an average corneal thickness of 500-550 µm. If the own corneal thickness is greater than 550 µm, the measured intraocular pressure values are higher than the actual intraocular pressure. Conversely, if the corneal thickness is less than 500 µm, the measured value is lower than the actual intraocular pressure. Therefore, low corneal thickness is considered an independent risk factor for the presence of glaucoma. 

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