Eye On The Target: How Optometrists Help Your Eye Health
About Me
Eye On The Target: How Optometrists Help Your Eye Health

Welcome. My name is Ariana and I work as a medical assistant at an army base. My main job is to make sure that there are no hidden health risks for our seemingly fit army personnel. One of the biggest issues I uncover is eyesight problems. I have discovered that a lot of people think that there is no need to visit an optometrist unless their eyes are sore or vision is blurry. This myth can be found in the army too. In the course of my work, I have learnt that many eye problems have no symptoms for a long time. I am always encouraging family and friends to go for annual eye checks. I have become so passionate about this issue that I started this blog to explain how optometrists can help you keep the best vision possible. Please scan through my entries. Enjoy.


Eye On The Target: How Optometrists Help Your Eye Health

Why Does an Optometrist Blow Air into Your Eyes?

Akseli Takala

If you've ever been to an optometrist for a routine examination, you may have noticed that they typically perform a range of different tests. You'll be familiar with the request to read letters from a distant chart or look straight ahead at a bright light. However, you may wonder why they will sometimes blow a puff of air into your eyes through a special machine. How can this help an eye expert diagnose potential problems that could, in some circumstances, be serious?

Measuring Eye Pressure

The type of test you remember is called a non-contact tonometry check. It is meant to check the intraocular pressure within each eye and make sure that it is within normal parameters. A special machine will emit a very light puff of air into the eye while you remain still and look straight ahead into a bright light. This simple action can measure the pressure in millimetres of mercury and tell if something is wrong at the back of the eye.

Watching for Glaucoma

Principally, the optometrist is looking for early signs of a significant disease known as glaucoma. This can affect the optic nerve, and high pressure within the eye is a clear indicator. If the condition is identified early and certain treatments are recommended, glaucoma can be slowed down or even reversed. It's very important to catch it at an early stage, however, as, unfortunately, it may eventually lead to blindness in the worst case.

Harmless Test

The "puff" test may be a little disconcerting, but it is completely harmless and does not cause any damage to the eye at all. It's relatively quick and is over before you know it, and it provides an instant reading for the optometrist to consider.

Latest Equipment

Your optometrist may use a different type of device called a tonometer. This test does away with the puff of air altogether and instead uses a small device that is placed gently against the outside of the cornea. Again, this does not hurt, although you may be given numbing drops before the process.

Another Check

If it has been some time since you last saw your optometrist, perhaps you should reschedule an examination. They may ask you to undergo the latest tonometry test to make sure that everything is as it should be. Remember, regular examinations are best as they can catch any problems before they fully develop.

Keep these tips in mind when looking for eye examinations from clinics near you.