Most people who’ve had a comprehensive eye exam are familiar with the air puff test. An air puff test is what it sounds like: With your head resting in the chinrest of a diagnostic machine called a slit lamp, your eye doctor uses a puff of air across the surface of the eye to measure the intraocular pressure, “inside” pressure, of the eye.
High pressure is a key indicator of glaucoma, a series of eye diseases that attacks the optic nerve.
How does a air puff test work?
Intraocular pressure tests are quick and largely without discomfort. You’ll look at a light inside the instrument while your eye doctor blows a gentle puff of air across the surface of your open eye. A device called a tonometer measures the eye’s resistance to the air, and calculates your internal eye pressure.
This usually takes only a few moments.
An intraocular pressure test is a part of glaucoma testing, and is a routine part of a comprehensive eye exam. Glaucoma is a serious disease of the optic nerve, and often doesn’t present itself until vision becomes impaired—that’s why it’s so important to have a puffer test to measure your intraocular pressure.