The Dreaded Air Puff Test

Almost everyone who has seen an Optometrist recently has had to endure the excruciating agony of a "gentle puff of air" to their eyes. But why?!


  • Purpose:
    • A screening test for glaucoma
    • Measures the pressure inside your eyeball
    • Increased pressure inside the eye can lead to glaucoma
  • Technical term for the air puff is Non-Contact Tonometry

Q: Does it make a difference if I'm a fidgety Nancy? And is there an alternative test?

A: Yes and yes, Nancy! Movement can affect results. The alternative involves a drop of anesthetic and small plastic probe touching the front of your eye. This is actually the most accurate method.


Q: What is a normal pressure reading?

A: The normal range is 10 to 20


Q: What is Glaucoma?

A: Damage to the Optic Nerve often due to high pressure inside the eye compressing nerve fibers. Causes vision loss, usually starting with peripheral vision.


Q: How do I know if I have Glaucoma?

A: It is important to know the risk factors: age over 50, family history, and high intra-ocular pressure. But the only way to know is to visit your eye doctor.