Applanation is a technique used to flatten the cornea (of the eye) in order to determine the intraocular pressure. Applanation is applied during applanation tonometry.
That is, "intraocular pressure" is the pressure within the eyeball, "intraocular" being an adjective that refers to "within the eyeball".
"Applanation tonometry" refers to the use of an applanation tonometer which is a type of ophthalmotonometer, sometimes known more simply as just a "tonometer". This is an instrument that works by measuring the force necessary to flatten a known area of the cornea (after numbing the cornea using local anaesthetic). More force is needed to flatten the cornea when the intraocular pressure is relatively high, compared with if, or when, it is comparatively lower. Applanation is therefore part of a test that may be used to assess the condition of the eye(s) in order to diagnose and / or consider and recommend options for medical treatment.
More about Ophthalmology:
This section includes short definitions
of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).
Other related pages include
- A diagram of the eye
- Definitions and descriptions of the parts of the eye
- A concise description of the human retina
- Definitions of parts of the retina
- Diseases and disorders of the human eye and the human visual system
For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.