Over 3 million Americans are estimated to have open angle glaucoma which is the leading cause of blindness in the US Worldwide 60 million people have open angle glaucoma. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) has been associated with visual field loss in glaucomatous patients. Typically a glaucoma patient has his/her IOP measured every three or 4 months on a visit to the ophthalmologist. Changes in IOP between visits are not measured. Research shows some glaucoma patients have wide diurnal variations in their IOPs and these individuals are at high risk for disease progression. An accurate easy to use self tonometer would allow a glaucoma patient to periodically check his/her IOP and report high readings to the ophthalmologist who could adjust the medication strategy in a timely manner.
Description of Invention
A prototype non-invasive self tonometer has been developed that measures IOP. The design has a custom tip that is applied to a closed eyelid directly over the cornea. The force is increased until the necessary corneal deformation takes place. Synchronized force and distance measurements are used to calculate IOP.
An effective self-tonometer and clinical method for its use by the patient at home would help in the management of glaucoma. This device will be easier to use and provide more accurate readings of IOP than other commercially available self tonometers on the market.
A laboratory prototype is being developed and partners are sought to assist in the commercialization.
A US patent application is pending.
Judith Sheft, assistant vice president, Technology Development
Fenster hall, Room 349
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Newark, NJ 07102
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