Aim: To evaluate the reliability of the pressure phosphene tonometer in comparison with the Goldmann applanation tonometer.
Methods: 45 consecutive patients with glaucoma (78 eyes) participated in the study. Eyes with previous eye surgery, a documented peripheral visual field defect, a refractive error of more than 5 dioptres, and patients who were unable to understand the procedure were excluded from the study. Intraocular pressure was measured with a pressure phosphene tonometer by one examiner and with a Goldmann applanation tonometer by two other examiners no more than 15 minutes apart. A second series of measurements was performed several weeks later on 34 patients (59 eyes). There was no communication between examiners or between examiner and patient regarding test results.
Results: No statistically significant correlation was found between the applanation tonometry values and those obtained with a pressure phosphene tonometer.
Conclusion: The pressure phosphene tonometer is not suitable for reliably measuring intraocular pressure.