Is tonometry an effective screening test for glaucoma?

In tonometry, a device (a tonometer, such as the air puff device) measures intraocular pressure (IOP). Unfortunately, no one knows whether elevated IOP is an accurate indicator of either current or future glaucoma. As many as 70% of those with high IOP never have vision problems caused by glaucoma. Also, single measurements of IOP are not particularly good indicators of glaucoma. When IOP is measured on a random basis, only half of all patients who have glaucoma also have IOP at the "ocular hypertension" level (over 21 mm Hg). There is no single cutoff value for IOP that can be used as a guideline when screening for glaucoma.

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