How to Buy a Tonometer and Join

Submitted by dave on Fri, 05/07/2010 - 10:59pm

UPDATE: You have to purchase a tonometer directly through your doctor. As of mid-2011, tonometers are not aprpoved for home use in the USA yet. That is coming. However, you can still get a tonometer now. Doctors are allowed to prescribe medications and equipment for off-label use, so it is not a problem for your doctor that tonometers are not approved for home use. However, manufacturers and distributors of medical devices cannot recommend or sell a device for off-label use.

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Are handheld or portable tonometers appropriate for home eye pressure monitoring?

Submitted by dave on Thu, 04/22/2010 - 12:29pm

In any tonometer (based on today's technology), you can have some, but not all of, the following:

  • ease of use
  • accuracy (reliability and validity of data)
  • low cost
  • portability

handheld portable tonometerPeople tend to give a priority to portability and low cost. New products aimed at this feature set have recently been announced. Does it make sense to utilize those devices for self-tonometry?

We have to agree that any trade off that doesn't include reliability and validity of IOP data invalidates the whole endeavor of self-tonometry. Not only is it meaningless to do it if the data is not of sufficient quality upon which to make important decisions, but it could actually be detrimental to do self-tonometry in that case.

With today's technologies, portability entails user-alignment (in the context of self-tonometry). Proper user-alignment to produce a valid measurement, by definition, depends upon user skill as well as various specific conditions of each measurement. User-alignment, regardless of the tonometer, is difficult! (User-alignment is defined as the operator of the tonometer having to align the tonometer with the eye manually. Alignment is a very precise process requiring a steady hand, good eyesight, training and practice.)

Therefore, the requirement of user-alignment conflicts with the requirement of reliability and validity of IOP data. We cannot guarantee reliability and validity of IOP data when variable user skills are required to produce that data.

If any decent ophthalmologist or scientist (or intelligent thinker) considers a set of IOP data, they must consider how the data was obtained. If patient skill played a critical role in producing that data, as it does when user-alignment is required, the clear thinking person will immediately discount that data. Therefore, the self-tonometrist's efforts may not produce much of value.

Preview of the Icare ONE handheld tonometer for home eye pressure monitoring

Submitted by dave on Fri, 04/09/2010 - 11:44am

My evaluation Icare ONE tonometer arrived today. I will compare it to:

    * Icare TA01i
    * Reichert 7CR Tonometer
    * Pascal Dynamic Contour Tonometer
    * Ocular Response Analyzer
    * Reichert AT555 Tonometer
    * maybe another one or two tonometers...

Look for a full review in the near future on UPDATE: I have decided not to publish my review of the Icare ONE at this time. Please read Are handheld or portable tonometers appropriate for home eye pressure monitoring?

Let me offer an analogy. If I were reviewing golf clubs, I would not include a review of a baseball bat. A baseball bat is not appropriate for playing golf. During the process of evaluating the Icare ONE, I came to a broader conclusion about all handheld tonometer and their appropriateness for self-tonometry (home eye pressure monitoring). Therefore, I feel it is better to have that general discussion first. You can read my thoughts here: Are handheld or portable tonometers appropriate for home eye pressure monitoring?

There is a related discussion on the Icare ONE here: New iCare ONE Tonometer Designed for Home Eye Pressure Monitoring

For now, here are some pictures of my evaluation Icare ONE tonometer.

Just arriving via FedEx (below). Some tonometers it will be evaluated against are shown in the background.

Icare ONE home eye pressure monitoring tonometer


Where to get a Tonometer?

Submitted by iriskyank on Thu, 09/03/2009 - 1:18pm

Hello, My husband Blake was diagnosed with Glaucoma about a year ago and we are currently searching for an affordable IOP measurement device he can use at home. Can you tell me where we might get one? Also, do you have an advice on the best model? If there are any studies, such as that described in the forum, he would be happy to take part. Kindest regards, Natina

EDIT: the replies below need to be updated for 2010. Please contact FitEyes directly before deciding which tonometer to purchase. See contact info below, or here: Contact

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Can we estimate our eye pressure with our finger?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/07/2009 - 10:37am

I am trying right now to get a feel of my pressure by just touchng the eyes with my index fingers. I can tell if it's high or low but I would like to become very accurate with the help of a tonometer. Which one do you recommend and what the difference in mg with for example a Goldman, Thanks.


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