An ophthalmologist’s instruments are not much like musical instruments, but they do have one similarity: they have to be in tune to do their jobs correctly. Whether you are playing a trumpet or examining eyes, maintaining accuracy during everyday use is a must.
Tonometers are key pieces of equipment, measuring the fluid pressure inside a patient’s eyes so that doctors may screen for glaucoma. The Tono-Pen, which delivers a non-invasive reading of the cornea by discharging a small puff of air, is invaluable to ophthalmologists. It is easy to use and offers versatility for patients who may have recoiled at a tonometer that directly touches the cornea. But for all its merits, the Tono-Pen is only as good as its calibration. A Tono-Pen that has lost its calibration over time can lead to misdiagnoses and wasted visits. These tips for proper tonometer calibration will keep this instrument at its most accurate and your practice at its most effective and efficient.
Make calibrating the Tono-Pen a part of your daily routine, first thing in the morning. Doing so is simple: point your tonometer straight down and straight up, as instructed in your user’s manual. If the Tono-Pen reads “GOOD” followed by a line of dashes, you are ready for the day. If you tend to forget this key task, try to remember that every morning should begin with the two Cs: coffee and calibration.
Keep the Pen Covered
You must calibrate your Tono-Pen with its cover on. Standard tonometers require constant disinfection to prevent germs from traveling from one patient to another, but disposable Tono-Pen tip covers make the air-puff approach to tonometry not only more inclusive, but safer, too. The Tono-Pen’s internal calibration accounts for its cover, so do not worry about that aspect. Just make sure to apply a new cover for each use.
Discard Low Batteries and Clean Thoroughly
After regular everyday use, even daily calibration may not be enough. If you suspect inaccurate readings, change the Tono-Pen’s batteries, clean the unit of impurities with compressed air, and recalibrate according to the manual. This should be a relatively rare occurrence. These tips for proper tonometer calibration should ensure that all readings of intraocular pressure are accurate. Your patients trust you to care for their eyes, so make sure your tools are working properly.