The purpose of this study was two-fold. We attempted to determine if valid intraocular pressure readings could be obtained when utilizing the Digilab Pneuma-tonometer over a soft contact lens in place of an anesthetic on a patient's eye. We also attempted to determine the nature of any difference in patient sensation between utilizing the tonometer with a soft lens versus utilization with a topical corneal anesthetic. Our results indicated that soft lenses allow accurate readings over a range of normal pressures. We also found that no significant difference in sensation existed between the two conditions (contact lens versus anesthetic). We found that utilizing a soft lens during the tonometric procedure was surprisingly uncomplicated, even on inexperienced patients. The results of this study suggest that the technique of utilizing soft lenses with the Pneuma-Tonometer is practical and will yield valid readings over a normal range of pressures.
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