The tension of the eye, what is it? - The360 Healthy

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  • Monday, December 9, 2019

    The tension of the eye, what is it?

    The tension of the eye, what is it?

    At each consultation with an ophthalmologist, intraocular pressure or eye strain is measured. This quick and painless examination can detect diseases such as glaucoma.


    The eye contains a transparent liquid, the aqueous humor, which is constantly renewed. When an imbalance is created between the secretion and the resorption of liquid, the pressure of the eye increases. This phenomenon has nothing to do with the blood pressure that is measured in the arm.

    What is the normal value?

    To be considered normal, intraocular pressure, or eye pressure, must remain less than or equal to 20 millimeters of mercury. This value may vary slightly throughout the day or depending on the brightness.

    Why is it sometimes too high?

    The ophthalmologist measures the tension of the eye in order to detect different diseases, mainly glaucoma. "This disease combines high pressure in the eye with alterations in the optic nerve, which is responsible for a progressive deficit of the visual field. Without treatment, glaucoma leads to a narrowing of the visual field, to the point that it becomes difficult to move, "says Dr. Laurence Desjardins, administrative and scientific director of the French Society of Ophthalmology.

    Glaucoma gives very few symptoms at the beginning of the disease, hence the importance of being screened regularly. "It is advisable to have an ophthalmic check every two years, from the age of 50 to check the eye pressure and check that the visual acuity is correct," says Dr. Desjardins.

    In addition to glaucoma, abnormally high eye pressure can be a consequence of uveitis (an inflammation characterized by a red and painful eye) or a tumor.

    How is the pressure of the eye measured?

    To measure this pressure of the eye, various systems exist, as Dr. Desjardins explains: "The oldest are the tonometers that measure the pressure using a cone placed in contact with the cornea after having placed a drop of anesthetic. But these contact tonometers are increasingly replaced by electronic machines that send a pulsed air, which allows to measure the pressure by approaching the cornea, without touching it."

    The examination is fast and painless. It gives an immediate result. After measuring the eye pressure, the vision remains clear, so the patient can leave home without any special precautions.

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