What is Keratometry?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Keratometry is used to measure the curvature of the cornea.
Keratometry is used to measure the curvature of the cornea.

Keratometry is a process which is used to measure the curvature of the cornea. It is performed by an eye specialist such as an ophthalmologist, using a device known as a keratometer or ophthalmometer. No special preparation is required on the part of the patient for a keratometry session, and the procedure is usually painless, unless a patient experiences difficulty sitting still. The basic keratometer was developed in 1880, although the design has been refined significantly since.

A keratometer can be used to determine the presence and extent of astigmatism.
A keratometer can be used to determine the presence and extent of astigmatism.

In a keratometry procedure, a device is used to measure the degree of curvature in the cornea, looking for the shallowest and steepest curves. Most modern keratometers utilize computers and optical sensors, rather than forcing the doctor to make calculations, and the computer can compare the patient's cornea with a database of known measurements and typical norms. Ultimately, numbers will be produced so that the keratometry data can be recorded in the patient's chart or passed on to other physicians.

Keratometry can be used to measure the degree of an individual's astigmatism.
Keratometry can be used to measure the degree of an individual's astigmatism.

One of the main reasons to perform keratometry is to check a patient's astigmatism, a vision problem caused by irregularities in the shape and curvature of the cornea, and to determine the degree of the astigmatism. With the numbers from the keratometer, the doctor can determine which options are available to correct the astigmatism so that the patient can see more clearly. The device can also be used to look for irregularities in corneal shape between the eyes.

Keratometry data will be recorded in a patient's chart or passed on to other physicians.
Keratometry data will be recorded in a patient's chart or passed on to other physicians.

Prior to certain types of eye surgery, the surgeon may request keratometry to get a complete picture of the eye, and the measurements may also be used to guide the procedure. It is also common to have sessions with a keratometer after eye surgery so that the results of the surgery can be followed, and the eye can be monitored for changes. Identifying unexpected changes in the eye early is critical, as it can mean that an emerging issue is spotted quickly.

In some modern machines, keratometry tools are built into an all-in-one eye exam device.
In some modern machines, keratometry tools are built into an all-in-one eye exam device.

As with prescriptions for corrective lenses, patients can take their keratometry readings with them if they want to receive care from another doctor. Patients can also request copies of their charts, something which patients may want to do if they have complex eye problems and they are relocating to another area. Having a copy of the chart on hand can save a new eye doctor time, and ensure that the patient receives the most appropriate care and treatment from the first vision appointment.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Keratometry is used to measure the curvature of the cornea.
      By: blueringmedia
      Keratometry is used to measure the curvature of the cornea.
    • A keratometer can be used to determine the presence and extent of astigmatism.
      By: Enigmatico
      A keratometer can be used to determine the presence and extent of astigmatism.
    • Keratometry can be used to measure the degree of an individual's astigmatism.
      By: Syda Productions
      Keratometry can be used to measure the degree of an individual's astigmatism.
    • Keratometry data will be recorded in a patient's chart or passed on to other physicians.
      By: jeffreyjcoleman
      Keratometry data will be recorded in a patient's chart or passed on to other physicians.
    • In some modern machines, keratometry tools are built into an all-in-one eye exam device.
      By: Monkey Business
      In some modern machines, keratometry tools are built into an all-in-one eye exam device.
    • Keratometry reading are often taken before eye surgery as a guide for the doctor performing the procedure.
      By: Peter Orsaeo Sr
      Keratometry reading are often taken before eye surgery as a guide for the doctor performing the procedure.
    • Some individuals with astigmatism may be prescribed corrective lenses.
      By: Andres Rodriguez
      Some individuals with astigmatism may be prescribed corrective lenses.
    • Patients may take their keratometry readings with them if they seek treatment from another doctor.
      By: Photographee.eu
      Patients may take their keratometry readings with them if they seek treatment from another doctor.