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What is a Tono-Pen?


October 19, 2023 - equipment, Stories

What is a Tono-Pen?

Every day, people visit the Emergency Department (ED) for any number of reasons. When it’s an eye condition, or a trauma that might affect the eyes, William Osler Health System's (Osler) physicians get assistance from a small, handheld device called a Tono-Pen.

If you’ve been to the optometrist, you’ll recall the test that uses a small puff of air to assess your eye. That’s a form of tonometry, a diagnostic test that measures the pressure inside your eye (intraocular pressure).

The handheld Tono-Pen is a similar assessment tool, but instead of using air, it gently touches the eye. It can help your health care provider determine if the pressure inside your eye is too high, which might put you at risk for glaucoma. It’s a simple test that gives immediate results. Early diagnosis can allow for treatment to reduce the impact on the optic nerve and prevent permanent vision loss.

Unless the pressure inside the eyes is extremely high, people might not feel any effects. The Tono-Pen is an important tool that allows ED doctors to do a quick and reliable assessment of intraocular pressure, either ruling it out as an issue or getting patients started on the treatment they need.

Our hospitals rely on donors to fund equipment. Please help us get necessary equipment—like the Tono-Pen—into the hands of Osler physicians. Donate today.