In the worlds of ophthalmology and optometry, the tonometry test is one of the tests used to measure intra-ocular pressure.
This test is used as a screening tool to check for glaucoma, an eye disease that causes damage to the nerve at the back of the eye.
While Pneumotonometry has its merits, the use of Applanation (which is still considered the 'gold standard') and Electronic Indentation are rather unimpeachable given their 'hands on' approaches.
Should you use either one of these methods, it is absolutely vital that you utilize clean tonometer tips for every patient.
Why Use Disposable Tonometer Tips?
In the healthcare field, the patient should always come first. In order to properly advocate for them, the appraisal for standards and practices should occur on a regular basis.
The general practice for proper tonometry readings has been to clean the tonometer with various cleaning solutions. While this may have seemed like the right thing to do in the past, studies have shown that the disadvantages of this practice outweigh the advantages by a huge margin.
Degradation of equipment, cross contamination, the potential for incomplete disinfection: while it may seem like an unnecessary expense for your practice to shoulder, the reasoning to use disposable tonometer tips is sound.
Instead of using disposable tonometer tips, many portable tonometers use disposable tip covers. These tip covers cover the reusable probe tip of the unit. They are a cost efficient way to prevent cross-contamination between patients.
Instructions: How To Use A Tonometer Tip Cover
It should be noted that there is a proper way to apply the tonometer tip cover that is further aided by the use of the cardboard applicator.
When you apply the tonometer tip cover, it is important to make the seal just right. If the seal between the portable tonometer and the tip cover is either too loose or too tight, your final readings will not be accurate.
As you can see above, the picture on the left shows a tonometer tip cover that is on too tight. While on the right, the tonometer tip cover is too loose.
In addition to proper application of tonometer tip covers, it should be considered that measurement technique (e.g. patient placement/comfort, maintaining zero contact with the eye, time of day) also has an effect on the type of readout your tonometer may produce.
To apply a tonometer tip cover, insert the tonometer into the pre-loaded applicator and roll the folded applicator onto the metal.
If your application is just right, there will be some pleats on the cover.
Once the exam is complete, carefully roll the tonometer tip cover off of your tonometer and dispose of it in the proper receptacle.
Types of Tonometer Tip Covers
As a consumer and professional, you want to make educated decisions about any major purchase (especially if those purchases have an impact on the patient). While it may seem unnecessary to use tonometer tip covers, their use ensures patient safety and comfort.
For your consideration, Accutome offers two types of tonometer tip covers:
- Bulk bags that come both with and without the cardboard inserter.
- Individually wrapped tip covers are sanitized prior to packaging and come loaded on a cardboard inserter.
Whether you want the added patient safety of the individually wrapped covers or the cost effectiveness of buying in bulk, Accutome can help you meet the needs of your practice.
Keep in mind that regardless of your choice, all tonometer tip covers are made out of latex. Each cover has a natural residue that can build up on your tonometer tip over time.
It is important to regularly clean the tonometer tip to ensure the most accurate measurements. Refer to your user manual for proper cleaning instructions.