Icare working quickly under pressure

Six optometry students from Cardiff University recently travelled to  Moldova to provide eye tests and free glasses to over 1,400 people.  The trip was organised by 2 of the university’s supervisors who have organised similar trips over the last 11 years (initially to Romania), giving tests to over 12,500 people.  Moldova is the poorest country in Europe and one of the many problems there is lack of eye care- most people have never had an eye test and those who have find it hard to afford the glasses.

The added excitement to this year’s trip was the introduction of some new equipment. An iCare tonometer was provided on loan, along with probes, and was used to screen several hundred patients.  In previous years the only viable tonometer was a Perkins tonometer which required local anaesthetic and pressures were rarely taken due to the short testing time required to reach the maximum number of patients.

The students promptly learnt to use the iCare tonometer, which they had never encountered before and also easily trained the medic translators, so not before long the whole team was using it.   They found it was far quicker to use in the examinations because it could be used in full daylight, the patient kept the same head posture, each reading took less than a second and there was no need for anaesthetic.  This portable, battery powered tonometer rapidly became part of everyone’s routine and enabled them to better detect any potential glaucoma, providing  fuller examinations to hundreds of people in Moldova.