Eye Pressure Testing: Why the Puff?

July 8, 2020

If you’ve had a comprehensive eye exam, then you are likely familiar with the “puff” test. You know, when you rest your head in the chinrest of a machine and your eye doctor puffs a small burst of air into your eye? And although some people aren’t fond of this test, we can assure you that it does serve a good purpose to test eye health.


The puff test is used to measure intraocular pressure (IOP). That air that you feel during the puff bounces back to give the machine a reading of your eye pressure. This is significant, as a raised IOP can indicate a problem with the eye such as glaucoma. And although it sounds uncomfortable, the test is not painful and relatively quick to get over with.


As a reminder, unless otherwise directed by your doctor, it’s usually recommended to see your vision provider for a comprehensive eye exam (including the puff test) once every 1-2 years, even if you do not have any symptoms. This recommendation may vary based on age and eye health. Regular eye exams are critical to stay on top of as they can evaluate not just your vision but also other health conditions. Sometimes vision problems can be a sign of something more serious.


It’s also important to know that there is a difference between optometrists and ophthalmologists and the services or treatments they provide. Most optometrists can offer treatment for common eye problems. These can include dry eyes and common infections. However, for certain disease and disorders it will usually require treatment by an ophthalmologist.


Still looking for a full insured vision plan? We can help. Whether you need an eye exam or are looking to order vision correction materials, you can feel confident choosing from more than 87,000 vision providers, nationwide. EyeMed vision care has tens of thousands of independent providers across the country as well as top optical retail chains that are in network. With over 7,000 retail stores, this includes major brands like LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, JCPenney, Sears Optical, Private Practitioners and Target Optical. Plus, with online purchase options available from glasses.com and ContactsDirect, materials can be conveniently ordered anytime, anywhere with network benefits.


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