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Corneal Thickness: Why’s It Important?

The Cornea

There are many different processes eyes go through to enable us to be able to see and the cornea plays a very important role in this. It is the starting process that focuses light towards the back of the eye. Another function that makes it extremely important is the protection it offers the iris and pupil.

Corneal thickness plays an important part in correctly interpreting intraocular eye pressure; eye specialists will use the thickness of the cornea as one of the factors when accurately diagnosing your risk of developing glaucoma, the most common cause of blindness in the UK.

Eye Pressure Tests

It was once believed that cornea thickness was the same for each person, however after further research it has been found that there is varying thickness from one person to another. When you visit an eye specialist for a eye examination they will carry out a quick and painless test that measures the intraocular eye pressure. Research has shown that a thinner cornea will give a inaccurately low pressure measurement, suggesting there is little or no risk of the patient having or developing glaucoma. For this reason, if corneal thickness is not measured or taken into account, the results of this test could then mislead the eye specialist towards a wrong diagnosis.

Pachymetry is a simple and painless test that measures your corneal thickness and with the results the eye specialist can get a clearer and better understanding of the intraocular eye pressure depending on thickness of the cornea. Carried out in conjunction with the eye pressure test, the eye specialist can obtain an accurate picture and devise a treatment plan accordingly.

The Importance of Regular Eye Tests

Monitoring the thickness of the cornea is vital when it comes to determining a patient’s risk of developing glaucoma. It’s therefore essential to get your eyes checked regularly so if the tests show the condition is present, early detection and correct treatment can prevent further damage.

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