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Tonometer, London, England, 1870-1900

Tonometers measure pressure within the eye. This is known as intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is a condition where the optic nerve becomes damaged leading to loss of sight. Glaucoma raises intraocular pressure. Tonometers were refined in the 1880s by German physiologist Adolph Eugene Fick (1829-1901). Cocaine was introduced as a local anaesthetic in 1887. This allowed tonometers to be applied directly to the cornea. This brass tonometer was made by instrument makers Pickard and Curry of London.

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Glossary: ophthalmology

The branch of medicine dealing with the diseases and surgery of the visual pathways (usually the eyes or the brain).

Glossary: ophthalmic tonometer

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