Pachymetry

A Pachymeter is a medical device used to measure the thickness of the cornea. Pachymetry, the corneal thickness measurement, has a number of uses in comprehensive Optometric care.

Pachymetry is extremely important in determining whether laser eye surgery (PRK, LASIK or Intralase) is suitable for a patient. No matter which type of refractive laser surgery is performed, corneal tissue is removed in the re-contouring of the cornea. The higher the prescription, the more tissue removed. Naturally, there must be a limit to the amount of tissue removed. Pachymetry allows us to determine if a patient has enough tissue to safely have laser surgery.

Corneal pachymetry is an important test in the early detection of certain types of glaucoma.

It also can be used in the screening of Keratoconus, a progressive corneal condition.

Modern Pachymetry devices, such as the one used in our office, use ultrasound technology. The test is of a very similar technique to when the intraocular pressure measurement is performed. A numbing drop is instilled into the eye and the Pachymeter is applied immediately. The results are instantaneous. Normal corneal thickness is typically between 520 to 550 microns.

Pachymeter (click to enlarge)
A Pachymeter
(click to enlarge)

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