A survey among members of the American Glaucoma Society (AGS) and the American Optometry Association (AOA) on tonometer preference and tonometer disinfection indicates a shift to disposable tonometer tips compared with 1987.
This survey’s purpose was to determine how eye care providers responded to the 2008 Centers of Disease Control (CDC) tonometer disinfection guidelines, which recommend 10% hypochlorite (dilute bleach) for reusable tonometers. Tonometers measure the eye pressure when they touch the cornea, an essential part of the eye examination.
AGS and AOA members were surveyed on tonometer preference, tonometer use, disinfection process, disinfectants, disinfection timing, and tonometer damage.
Survey responses from 79 AOA members and 197 AGS members are included. The Goldmann tonometer is considered most accurate (70, 89% AOA and 161, 82% AGS). It is preferred by 54 (70%) AOA and 193 (98%) AGS members. Many providers (165) use reusable Goldmann tonometer tips (77, 79% AOA, 88, 45% AGS), and most clean with 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes 59 (77%) AOA and 54 (61%) AGS. In summary, 126 of 276 participants (8, 10% AOA and 118, 60% AGS) follow CDC guidelines by using disposable tips (2 AOA and 109 AGS) or disinfecting reusable tips with 10% hypochlorite (6 AOA and 9 AGS).
The majority of AGS providers follow current CDC tonometer disinfection guidelines by shifting to disposable Goldmann tonometer tips. Only a minority of providers who use reusable tonometer tips disinfect with dilute bleach. Continued education on proper tonometer disinfection is critical to prevent eye-care related infection due to improper disinfection.