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Asymmetric intraocular pressure (IOP) readings have been considered a characteristic of glaucoma for many years. New studies have shown that the greater the difference in between pressure in fellow eyes, the more likely the patient is to have glaucoma. Data indicates that IOP asymmetry of 6 mmHg or more is strongly indicative, though not absolute proof, of the presence of glaucoma. The shared study involved 326 recently diagnosed glaucoma patients. The diagnosis was made based on findings of optic nerve and visual field damage. Patients with any type of prior ocular medical or surgical treatment were excluded. The participants in the study were matched by sex, race and within a two year age range. The study found that a difference of 3 mmHg is associated with a 6 percent probability of having glaucoma. The risk jumps to 57 percent when the difference is greater than 6 mmHg. Alice L. Williams, MD, a resident physician at the Wills Eye Institute was surprised by the strength of the relationship. She added that a stronger study with several IOP readings, not just one, would be prospective. She felt it would be interesting to see if the prevalence of IOP asymmetry depends on the stage of glaucoma, but stressed that IOP asymmetry alone cannot be used to diagnose glaucoma.

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Vision Treatments & Technology

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