The eye undergoes fluctuations in intaocular pressure during cataract surgery. The exposure to high pressure may cause damage to the retinal nerve fiber layer and optic nerve. Precisely knowing the intraocular pressure especially at the end of cataract surgery will ensure the high pressure is managed immediately and efficiently to avoid glaucomatous damage to the eye.
Professor John Jarstad, of the University of Missouri, said: “The current standard of care following cataract surgery is to refill the eye with a saline solution and tap on the eye with a Q-tip to observe if it is too firm, too soft or just right.”
“This Goldilocks-style guesstimate often is inaccurate, and patients might actually have higher eye fluid pressure than the surgeon believes. Here at MU (Missouri University) Health Care, we use a device known as a tonometer to accurately gauge eye pressure.”
The electronic device known as a tonometer is often used in a clinical setting to determine eye pressure, but is rarely used for surgery. The researchers studied 170 patients who had eye pressure adjusted after cataract surgery with a tonometer and found that patients were 2.5 to 4 times less likely to develop cystoid macular edema – cyst-like pockets of fluid in the macula of the eye.