Puff-Less Eye Exams
Routine eye exams are needed to identify changes in your vision and serious eye health conditions. At Alpine Vision, we provide extensive eye exams to safeguard our patients in Colorado Springs, Falcon, Windsor, CO. Our optometrists offer alternatives to one of the less pleasant aspects of an eye exam, the puff test.
Why Eye Exams Include the Puff Test
Early identification is important for treating glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition in which fluid builds up increasing your eye pressure. Eye doctors can only prevent vision loss from glaucoma, not correct it. Traditionally, eye doctors used the puff test to screen for this condition. However, there are other options if you find this test is difficult.
You may have had a vision exam in the past that involved the puff test. During this test, the eye doctor uses a tonometer to blow a puff of air at your eye to determine how much intraocular pressure your eyes can handle by slightly flattening your cornea.
If the result of this test is outside the healthy range, you may be at risk for glaucoma. Often, there are no other signs of this condition. While this test is quick and painless, many people struggle to keep their eyes open as they anticipate the sudden burst of air. This has led to the creation of alternatives to the standard tonometer.
Alternatives to the Puff Test
There are a few alternatives to this test. Specifically, a method called ophthalmoscopy uses light to magnify the optic nerve. Our optometrists can see your optic nerve and visualize the pressure in your eye.
Some eye care clinics use applanation or Goldmann tonometry to measure eye pressure and screen for glaucoma. First, the eye doctor will numb your eyes with eye drops. Like the puff test, you will rest your chin in the chin rest. The eye doctor will then use the Goldmann tonometer to determine your eye pressure. This procedure requires placing the device against your eye, which may be difficult for some patients.
Our eye doctor may suggest electronic indentation tonometry. This process similarly uses numbing eye drops before the doctor touches a pencil-shaped device to your cornea to measure the pressure. Aside from these tests, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that eye exams include examining the drainage angle of your eyes for blockages, looking at the optic nerve, measuring and photographing the nerve, testing your peripheral vision, and measuring the thickness of the corneas.
Contact Our Optometrists at Alpine Vision
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that requires monitoring and treatment to preserve the patient’s vision. If you live in or around Colorado Springs, Falcon, or Windsor, contact one of our locations to learn more about our puff-less eye exams.