Different Tonometer?

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I have had high IOP for a number of years, controlled by drops.    Recently, I transeferred from a hospital in the south to one more local in Lancashire, but was actually sent to an Optemetrist in the high street instead.   The tonometer had two handles on it, and I had to grip them and pull them with all my strength whilst the readings were taken.    These proved quite high, 27 and 32!     I have a feeling that the strain of pulling the handles put the pressure up artificially!   A month ago in London, the pressures were 21 and 27!      I have now been told that I will proabably need surgery, as all eydrops options have been exhausted and have been referred back to the hospital.   This is very worrying because I know there are lots of eyedrops I haven't been put on yet.    The pressure until recently was 18 and 19, but went up when I was changed from Azarga (because of slight breathlessness) and Lumigan 0.3 to Lumigan 0.1.      I really feel that going back on Azarga and Lumigan 0.3 would solve the problem, because the breathlessness was only when walking up hills, or climbing stairs, otheriwse, I was OK.

My field tests are normal, and vision extremely good for age 71!

Any advice?

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    PS.     Azarga was changed to Azopt!
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    • Posted

      PS from me too!  I had to use drops when my pressures went too high,  I was prescribed Cosopt because they are the only preservative free drops available.  I stopped them after a couple of years because my pressures dropped too low.
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  • Posted

    Hello Alcantara, personally, I wouldn't worry & would much prefer to be seen by an Ophthalmologist.  Optometrists can vary tremendously, as can their machines.  Optometrists are not medical doctors.

    Your pressures vary depending upon time of day as well as other factors.

    Have you got an appt yet or are you waiting?

    Good luck & don't worry but don't let too much time pass before you see an Ophthalmologist.


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    • Posted

      Thanks for reply.    He said I would get an appointment within 18 days.    I think he was supposed to be a consultant who came out to the Optemetrists place to do the monitoring tests, but not really sure.    He showed no interest in my OCT scan that the London hospital gave me a month ago, and did not even dilate the pupils to have a look inside.   Neither did he prescribe a change of drops to see me through to the hospital appontment.       I have been monitored for 25 years now, and have never had to heave on handles to press my head against the tonometer.   In London, I just rested my chin and forehead on the device and was completely relaxed.   On the one with the handles, I was straininng every muscle, and he kept saying "pull harder!"    I have not heard of Cospot, they sound pretty good, being preservative free!
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    • Posted

      Hospitals use Slit lamps, the gadget with the chin rest and forehead rest.  The tonometer that you describe, sounds a little like one that I have used in Specsavers when I was getting new specs.  These days, they are more accurate than they used to be, the High street tests used to vary a lot between different outlets.  

      I have no idea why he was telling you to 'pull harder', I would foget the visit!

      I have had an eye problem for years and they changed all my drops to preservative free because the preservatives were causing almost as many problems as the drugs that I was using were trying to cure!  They are much cheaper now than they used to be..

      The only problem, is that they seem to have production problems fairly frequently but generally, the hospital pharmacy has them but not always the High St pharmacies.

      As for your OCT scan, it was probably betond him & rather than tell you that he hadn't a clue what you were talking about, he was dismissive.  I have had the same thing.


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  • Posted

    Have you tried Travatan and Azopt drops. That's what I'm on, I'm an asthmatic age 69, and they are ok for me. All the drops have side effects. Has your heart been checked for the breathlessness.. I would prefer to be a little breathless than lose some of my periferal vision.
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    • Posted

      I am presently on Azopt morning & evening, and Lumigan in evening as well.      Before that, I was on Azarga and Lumigan 0.3, but they recently changed the Lumigan to 0.1!     I did see GP about breathlessness and had ECG (OK) X-Ray (OK), Blood test (OK), sputum test (OK).     London hospital changed Azarga to Azopt to see if that improved things.    It did, but pressure went up.    I agree with you, I could put up with slight breathlessness to keep pressure down.     The thing that bothered me most was this new place in Preston just said they were referring me to the hospital for the Trabulectomy (I think that is what it is called).    He  stated flaty that all eyedrop options have now been used, and surgery is the final option.    I do not believe this!     There are lots of drops I have not been on.     Azarga and Lumigan 0.3 controlled it pretty well, so I would prefer to go back on that first of all!

      Reading quite a lot about the cough and breathlessness, I decided that I may have sulphite allergy from drinking wine.    I cut out wine two days ago, and already the situation is improving and have stopped wheezing in night and breathlesness much improved.    Still no sign of my eye appointment, but will be asking them tomorrow.

      I have never had Travatan!     

      I really believe having me heave with all my strength on the Tonometer handles didn't help, my eyes were probably bulging like organ stops!       25 years ago, I was referred to London as I was in the Merchant Navy at the time, and we got priority treatment.    I remained with them and they were excellent, but as the round trip with overnight hotel and train costs about £250, I decided to change somewhere closer home.   The monitoring centre they sent me to locally is an Optemetrist, but they said I would see a consultant, but I am beginning to wonder if he was one or just an Optemetrist.     As I said, he didn't show the slightest interest in my OCT optic nerve scan that London gave me.   That, incidentally is OK, and my fields were 100% in London four weeks ago.     

      It is just a waiting game now!

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  • Posted

    I finally got my hospital appointment this morning (19th Nov. 2015).    

    Field tests full.    Corneal thickness OK.   Drainage angles OK.  

    I even read to the bottom of the eye chart!  

    The pressure has now gone down from 27 and 32 to 22 and 24.    The consultant said that although it is still a bit high, everything else is OK.   He dilated pupils and looked at back of eyes and said everthjhing was OK there as well.   No need for any change of drops or surgery.   Will see me for another check up in six months.   Great weight off my mind!     He also said that pulling on tonometer handles most likely put the pressure up artifiically, and didn't know why I had been told to do it!

    The things that I have altered to try and improve the situation myself since the high pressure readings were:

    Sleeping with three pillows to elevate head.

    Cutting out alcohol.

    Increase of excercise.

    No more lying down in afternoon.

    Plenty of green vegetables.

    Take Lutein supplements.

    He told me to carry on with all the above.


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    • Posted

      Well, that's good news!

      I just wondered as I was reading through, whether the person who told you to pull on the handles, had suggested that to try to get you to relax if you were a little tense.  It of course, had the opposite effect.


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    • Posted


      I don't think so though.   I have had the tonometer test numerous times in the past 25 years and never had a problem relaxing after the first two or three tests all those years ago.     I was quite surprised when he started telling me to pull harder.      At the hospital this morning, I noticed that the tonometer had handles on it, but I never touched them, and was not told to.    I was very relaxed, and breathing normally.    Neither did the consultant understand why I had been told to pull so hard on the handles at the other place.     Anyway, I can relax even more now!

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